The National Consultative Front, NCFront, a newly floated mobilisation platform towards the formation of a credible alternative political bloc to the ruling power in Nigeria is concerned and perturbed that supposedly democratic elections in Nigeria are fast acquiring a notoriety for violence and brigandage. This ugly and unflattering development in our country runs against the tenets of democracy and civility and should trouble all patriotic citizens.
It is in this regard that we view the signals emerging from Edo State in the run up to the September 19th, 2020 gubernatorial elections as advancing despicable acts of desperation clothed in violence and rascality of a frighteningly dangerous proportion. Elections, to us, should not be a matter of ‘do or die’ if the end intention is to provide selfless service to the citizenry. Therefore, when the level of desperation to win elections at all cost becomes evident as in the case of the run up to the Edo elections, it suggests that other considerations outside selfless service to the people may be the priority and this should not be allowed to fester as it endangers and negates civil democratic governance
NCFront therefore cautions all participants and actors, especially lawmakers in the state, who are presently engage in political harakiri and brinkmanship to urgently turn a new leave to play by the rules and shun all acts that can further heighten tension and endanger the very wellbeing of the Edo people, their lives and properties these political gladiators claim to be aspiring to protect. The INEC is also enjoined to ensure a level playing ground for all participants, while security agencies are expected to maintain the neutrality required and necessary for their respectable non partisanship.
Furthermore, granted that the presidency may have partisan political interests in the outcome of the elections, it must be understood that Government has a higher responsibility and duty of ensuring an equitably peaceful environment for all parties in the elections in ensuring a free and fair contest, if the outcome of the election is to enjoy popular legitimacy, reflect the choice of the electorate and stabilize the polity.
The NCFront however wishes to observes that a combination of dwindling economy, unemployment, poverty, insecurity, poor infrastructure during the present COVID-19 pandemic etc have already in effect taken serious toll on the wellbeing and psychology of populace and therefore to introduce electoral violence into the mix may be too much for the Edo people and electorates to bear. The NCFront therefore wishes to admonishes all stakeholders, particularly the Federal Government, constitutionally charged with ensuring security in the electoral process to take urgent steps to de-escalate the palpable tension thrown up in Edo state, while ensuring that a peaceful, free and fair electoral process is enthroned devoid of violence and brigandage
Finally, NCFront views INEC’s preemptive threat to halt the elections as unhelpful. What we think is needed is for security agencies to immediately get on top of the situation and provide formidable and dynamic security initiatives to secure a level playing ground in the run up to the elections, while working in harmony with INEC to guarantee the sanctity and integrity of the elections and its outcome.
Dr Tanko Yunusa
0803 314 4131
Head of Public Affairs Bureau,
0818 845 1511
NCFront National Headquarters,
Utako District, FCT, Abuja