Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has noted with concern the serious rise in the pitch of groups that threaten the conduct of the 2023 general election, particularly from violent groups in the South East. It therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari to deal with the threats.
It said the deafening silence from leaders, elders and politicians from the region and other parts of Nigeria over these dangerous threats is also deeply disturbing, adding that these threats are being followed by actual attacks on government buildings and killings, including killing of policemen in the region. It added that without a robust challenge of these dangerous trends, those behind these lawless acts are likely to assume that they will succeed.
In a statement by the director, publicity and advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, and made available to LEADERSHIP, yesterday, the group said it has been the consistent position of the Forum and other patriotic groups that the 2023 elections must hold throughout the length and breadth of Nigeria.
It said any attempt to interfere in the rights of Nigerians to participate in the election of their leaders is a serious assault on the sovereignty of Nigeria and an act that must be resisted.
“Nigerians want a credible election and a peaceful transition to the next administration, and no group should be allowed to plunge the nation into deeper crises by tolerating threats to the elections and peace in the country.
A threat to the elections is a threat to the democratic system, and the very foundations on which the nation rests. If it succeeds, this threat will signal the start of other crises the country may not recover from,” it said.
The Forum therefore called on the administration of President Buhari to assert its legitimate authority on any lawless group in any part of the country and ensure that voters are not prevented or threatened, adding that leaders must openly condemn these outrageous threats and assure citizens who want to vote that they can do so. “Politicians who want to lead us must step out and condemn these threats. For the avoidance of doubt, these threats from groups in the South East are cowardly and childish. Nonetheless, those behind them should know that they will be resisted,” it added.
Last modified: February 15, 2023