Former Head of State and Chairman, National Peace Committee (NPC), Gen Abdulsalam Abubakar, yesterday disclosed that the controversies trailing the transmission, collation and release of the results of the February 25 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), have been largely responsible for the current political tension across the country.
Abdulsalam, who stated this in a message to Nigerians ahead of tomorrow’s Governorship and State Assembly Elections, said the “mature attitude” of the presidential candidates who contested the election saved Nigeria from what could have been a chaotic situation.
It would be recalled that the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmoud Yakubu had on March 1, 2023, declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the winner of the said election, amidst protests from other contestants who felt short changed and alleged compromise……CONTINUE READING
However, the crisis was nipped in the bud as two strong contenders in the race, namely the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his counterpart in the Labour Party (LP) Mr Peter Obi, chose to challenge the results in court rather than mobilise their supporters to the streets. Abdulsalam, who acknowledged that “these are trying times” for Nigeria and its citizens, said the NPC was pleased with the decision of the aggrieved parties to seek redress in the court of law. “We are encouraged by the restraint they have exhibited and their commitment to seek justice through due process.
This is in keeping with the Peace Accord. We therefore appeal to the supporters and all the parties and our citizens to please follow the good example of their leaders and remain law abiding till the process is brought to an end,” he said. However, the former military ruler has expressed concerns at the likelihood of violence, intimidation and voter suppression during the Governorship and State Assembly Elections holding tomorrow (Saturday) across Nigeria. “We are worried by the open threats of intimidation and violence by certain elements within the society who are using ethnic and religious labels to achieve their intentions of voter suppression,” he said.
Abdulsalam appealed to security and law enforcement agencies to remain on alert and to bring to book anyone who poses a threat to the peaceful conduct of the elections, no matter their position in the society. He also charged all eligible voters to go out tomorrow and exercise their civic rights of voting without any fear of intimidation. According to him, INEC must endeavour to conduct the next polls under a peaceful and transparent atmosphere if it must regain the confidence and trust of Nigerians…….continue Reading