A group known as National Association of Ethnic Nationalities of Nigeria, has warned against overheating the polity over the outcome of the just-concluded 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections, saying the exercise was free, fair and credible despite unavoidable human errors.
According to a statement jointly signed by the group’s President, Chief Jato Abido, and Secretary, Comrade Prince Miaphen, in Abuja on Tuesday, the journey to the conduct of the 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections in Nigeria was almost successfully concluded in spite of pockets of hiccups.
The group noted that President Muhammadu Buhari must be commended by working his talk about delivering a legacy of a free, fair and credible elections, hence, it was strange that someone in the stature of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and some political parties will cast aspersions on the exercise to cause crisis.
“We also sincerely commend the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for working tirelessly to conduct a free, fair and credible (though not necessarily perfect) election.
“The credibility of this election is evident in the victory of some candidates in their opponents strongholds across the country. And there are so many of such results in this particular election, especially as recorded by the Labour Party (LP), People’s Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Congress (APC) as well as New Nigeria Political Party (NNPP). Whatever irregularities may occur are clear human errors which are unavoidable in every human conduct. And these irregularities (if and where they occur are rectifiable).
“It is, therefore, very strange that a supposed statesman of the standing of former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo could brazenly and unashamedly attempt to discredit the entire electoral process, thereby inflaming nerves, overheating the polity and inciting the opposition to violence. It is very disheartening and disappointing that those who should champion peace, stability and preach patience, sobriety and stoicism at a time like this are the ones making statements that are raising national tension.
“We hereby reject Obasanjo’s subtle call for crisis and advise him to desist forthwith. If he cannot be part of the promotion of peace at this critical time, he should not be the very catalyst for any kind of crisis or violence.
“We also warn others, including those who feel they are untouchable, and even the political parties to stop making inciting statements and allow INEC to conclude this exercise while their observations and complaints are addressed.
“We, the National Association of Ethnic Nationalities of Nigeria shall not hesitate to confront anybody or group who attempts to ignite any unnecessary fire in this country, no matter how highly placed they may be.
“Every process needed for any kind of redress in an election matter is written in our laws. And this includes the INEC chairman considering the complaints, reviewing them before making a final declaration. Those processes enshrined in our laws should be followed.
“It is okay for people to express their views. It is equally acceptable to even be emotional. But to hide under a loss in a credible election like we have seen so far, and cause a national upheaval is unacceptable and condemnable.
“Every responsible Nigerian should act responsibly and in national interest. We shall not accept any action or behaviour to the contrary. Peace to Nigeria!,” the group stated.