Former senate minority leader Godswill Akpabio has advised Nigerians to view dividends of democracy or political reward system in terms integrity of the leader.

Nigerians, he said, should encourage leaders who displayed integrity in their past leadership roles.

Sen. Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom, now representing Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that Nigerians should respect leaders who applied integrity in bringing development to the nation.

“Nigerians should ensure that they elect good and committed leaders, with integrity at all elections, and stop expecting patronage in terms of appointments or contracts.

“Good governance and delivery of critical infrastructure are the best reward system that any leadership can give the citizenry, and any leader that does these deserves mass support,’’ he said.

The former Akwa Ibom governor also advised Nigerians against politicising national tragedies, adding that the unity of Nigeria was more important than politics.

“Nigerian politicians should learn to run decent campaigns and try to shy away from issues that can generate violence or further polarise our country as we approach the elections.

“They should stop jubilation whenever we experience set back in the war against insurgency, it is a collective responsibility to ensure that Nigeria is safe and we should all show commitment to that cause.

“The reason why we are contesting for political leadership in the first place is because there is a country called Nigeria; if Nigeria stops to exist today, our politics will become useless,’’ he said.

He urged politicians to see the advantage in the size and diversity of Nigeria and work hard to maintain its unity.

“The reason why we are respected across the world is because of our population and our diverse ethnic configuration.

“Politicians are supposed to use these factors to further engender peace and unity in the country, instead of creating hatred and enmity amongst their followers,’’ he said.

Akpabio, a former member of main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Aug. 8, 2018.

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