…. Warns Against Truncating Electoral Process
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must be allowed a free reign to do its Constitutionally-assigned job as anything short of that may constitute a serious danger to the hard-earned civil rule that we are presently operating.
Handing down this admonition was the Pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, in a press release signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi on Tuesday.
According to Ajayi, this call was necessitated by a statement credited to former President Olusegun Obasanjo in which he demanded for the stoppage of the Presidential Election Results being made by INEC. In a similar vein, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Labour Party, LP and African Democratic Congress, ADC, at a Press Conference they jointly addressed in Abuja on Tuesday, also called for the suspension of the electoral process. They further demanded for the resignation of the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu.
While conceding that the 2023 Presidential and National Assembly Elections that held on February 25 might have some shortcomings, Afenifere insisted that the perceived shortcomings “do not constitute enough grounds to truncate the entire process. The ongoing announcement of election results should be concluded. Those who are not satisfied either with the process or the outcome can seek redress through the paths outlined by the law – Elections Tribunal and the Court.”
Ajayi added that “anything short of that may lead to the truncation of the democracy we are practising now.”
He recalled that Afenifere was in the vanguard of those who fought vigorously for the enthronement of democratic practice in Nigeria.
“Afenifere, from its formation over 70 years ago, has always stood for democracy and good governance. Along with others, it fought for independence for the country just as it fought valiantly with others for the ouster of the military. It did this through the formation of the National Democratic Coalition, along with other patriotic Nigerians. Many of our leaders and young elements paid a lot of prices for a civil rule to return to the country in 1999. This is why we can not fold our arms and watch as anti-democratic elements who appear to be hell-bent on truncating the present democratic experiment to have their way.”
Afenifere spokesman cautioned politicians against setting the country literally ablaze through their inciting utterances and actions.
He reminded them that in elections, just as in sports, there would always be winners and losers.
“When and where you win, be magnanimous. In the same vein, where and when you lose, be calm and accept it as your fate. ‘You lose some and gain some’ to quote a common cliche.”
In conclusion, Afenifere called on Nigerians, especially youths, not to allow themselves to be lured into what may plunge the country into anarchy.
“Let this electoral process be successfully concluded so that we can have a smooth transfer of power on May 29 this year.”