#NigeriaDecides2023: Bishop Kukah, Abdulsalami warn of looming danger
The National Peace Committee jointly chaired by a former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah, warned the INEC to look into the complaint raised by Nigerians concerning the election to avert looming danger ahead.
This warning was made in a statement issued in reaction to some controversies and reactions that trailed the announcement of results at International Collation Center, Abuja, Monday.
He said, “Let me appeal to the chairman of INEC, if his hands are clean, to save Nigeria from the looming danger and disaster which is just waiting to happen. If the Chairman can postpone elections four days to the election, he can do everything to rectify the errors of the last two days – no BVAS, no result to be acceptable; and no uploading through Server, no result to be acceptable.
“Whereas, BVAS and Servers have been manipulated or rendered inactive, such results must be declared void and inadmissible for election declaration. Chairman INEC, I have thought that you would use this wonderful opportunity to mend your reputation and character for posterity.
While imploring President Buhari to intervene so that INEC can cl cancel and re-run elections in areas the BVAS glitched, he stressed that the strategy must be changed to verify how it was manipulated.
“Your Excellency, President Buhari Muhammadu, tension is building up and please let all elections that do not pass the credibility and transparency test be cancelled and be brought back with areas where elections were disrupted for next Saturday, March 4, 2023.”
“BVAS and Server officials will be changed. To know which stations or polling units were manipulated, let a Committee of INEC staff and representatives of the four major political parties with the Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association look into what must be done to have hitch-free elections next Saturday. Mr. President, may your plan and hope for leaving a legacy of free, fair, transparent and credible election be realized.
“Mr. President, please don’t let anybody say to you that it does not matter or it is the problem of INEC. On no account should you be seen as part of the collusion or compromise. When the die is cast, it will be your problem as the Chief Executive of the nation.
“The Chairman of INEC may sneak out of the country or go back to his ivory tower. Your Excellency, thank you for hearing me out.”
He stressed that he was duty bound to speak at this point and craved the indulgence of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency General Muhammadu Buhari, to utter this statement because he has had the opportunity to inform him of what he knows was happening and the disaster looming ahead.
“It is no secret that INEC officials, at operational level, have been allegedly compromised to make what should have worked not to work and to revert to manual transmission of results which is manipulated and the results doctored.
“The chairman of INEC may claim ignorance but he cannot fold his hands and do nothing when he knows that the election process has been corrupted and most of the results that are brought outside BVAS and Server are not true reflection of the will of Nigerians who have made their individual choices.
“At this stage, we do not need wittingly or unwittingly to set this country on fire with the greed, irresponsibility and unpatriotic acts of those who allegedly gave money to INEC officials for perversion and those who collected the blood money.”
Abdulsalami said INEC should attend to the grievances being expressed by Nigerians against the presidential election conducted on Saturday.
The organisation also implored INEC to take all the time it required to ensure that results are delivered to build the confidence of the Nigerians in line with international best practices.
Abdulsalami outlined the recommendations in a statement titled, “A call for calm: Please give peace and the process a chance.”
Abdulsami reassured Nigerians that the world has reposed confidence in the country in the elections saying that all citizens deserve to be rewarded by a process that ensures that their votes really count.
According to the statement, “Nigerians must be reminded that the world has invested a lot of good will towards us in these elections. We have taken note of the dissatisfaction among voters who braved all harsh weather elements to perform their civic duties. All citizens deserve to be rewarded by a process that ensures that their votes truly count.
“We appeal to INEC to heed the grievances being expressed, to take the necessary steps to escalate investigations of all allegations of infractions and to ensure that justice is clearly done to all citizens who went out to vote.
“We have received reports of the culture of voter suppression manifested across the country through the application of targeted violence, disruption of processes, inducement of voters, intimidation, deliberate frustrations of voters and the challenges of the election equipment.”
Recall Obasanjo had written letter to INEC for the cancellation of the elections and to reschedule in what he described as “void and inadmissible”, saying INEC should re-run elections in polling units Bimodal Verification Accreditation System glitched.
In swift reaction, All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council has criticized calls by Obasanjo discrediting the ongoing national electoral process in the country, saying “it is a call for a coup against the nation’s democracy.”
The APC PCC in a statement dubbed, “Obasanjo’s Mischief and Hypocrisy On Display Again’’ signed by the special adviser, media, communications and public affairs of the council, Mr Dele Alake said Obasanjo lacked the moral rectitude to make such call having openly endorsed the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, as his preferred candidate in the election.
He said, ‘’Our attention has been drawn to a press statement by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in which he was virtually calling for a truncation of the ongoing electoral process and a cancellation of already conducted elections on the basis of frivolous, unfounded and baseless allegations by politicians who are sore losers and have no respect for democratic values.
“Obasanjo repeated without the slightest iota of evidence rumours he had picked up that the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System had been compromised and that the results of elections being announced are fraudulent.
“It is tragic that a former President who ought to be a statesman in comportment and speech will recklessly seek to endanger and derail our democratic process for utterly selfish, egoistic and malicious reasons. He offers not a single credible piece of evidence to prove his laughable and ridiculous allegations against INEC and the credibility of the ongoing process.”