NSCIA cautions politicians against causing anarchy

– muslim-worldview with newsreport

February 28, 2023

 The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, yesterday cautioned political leaders and actors against making provocative and unguarded statements which could drag the country into unnecessary conflict and anarchy.

NSCIA Deputy-Secretary General, Salisu Shehu and Director of Administration, Zubairu Haruna Usman-Ugwu, in a statement, said while reckless statements from inconsequential individuals could be easily ignored, “This is not so of those from respected political and religious leaders.

“It’s important that patriotic and well-meaning Nigerian leaders should support unrelenting adherence to process and procedure in the on-going electoral process.

“This is because any inclination to unprocedural decision or action at this critical time is a direct call for anarchy which will not yield any positive outcome to the nation,” the council said. 

It also counselled the INEC to remain undistracted and committed to its duty until it discharged it to its logical conclusion.

It equally urged all Nigerians, particularly Muslims, to, no matter the level of provocation from certain quarters, remain calm and prayerful.

The council pray Allah to keep Nigeria stable and peaceful.

Meanwhile, the federal government yesterday told former President Olusegun Obasanjo not to truncate the 2023 general elections with his “inciting, self-serving and provocative letter” on the exercise.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in a statement, said what Obasanjo cunningly framed as an “appeal for caution and rectification” was a calculated attempt to undermine the electoral process and a willful incitement to violence.

He expressed shock and disbelief that a former president could throw around “unverified claims and amplify wild allegations picked up from the street against the electoral process.”

The minister said, “Though masquerading as an unbiased and concerned elder statesman, former president Obasanjo is in reality a known partisan who is bent on thwarting, by subterfuge, the choice of millions of Nigerian voters.”

He said Obasanjo, in his time, organised perhaps the worst elections since Nigeria’s return to

democratic rule in 1999, hence, he is “the least qualified to advise a president whose determined effort to leave a legacy of free, fair, credible and transparent elections is well acknowledged within and outside Nigeria.”

“As the whole nation waits with bated breath for the result of last Saturday’s national elections, amid unnecessary tension created by professional complainants and political jesters, what is expected from a self-respecting elder statesman are words and actions that douse tension and serve as a soothing balm,” he said.

According to him, organising elections in Nigeria is not a mean feat, considering that the voter population of 93,469,008 in the country is 16,742,916 more than the total number of registered voters, at 76,726,092, in 14 West African nations put together.

“With a deployment of over 1,265,227 electoral officials, the infusion of technology to enhance the electoral process, and the logistical nightmare of sending election materials across our vast country, INEC seems to be availing itself creditably, going by the preliminary reports of the ECOWAS Electoral Observation Mission and the Commonwealth Observer Group, among other groups that observed the election.

“Therefore, those arrogating to themselves the power to cancel an election and unilaterally fix a date for a new one, ostensibly to ameliorate perceived electoral infractions, should please exercise restraint and allow the official electoral body to conclude its duty by announcing the results of the 2023 national elections.

“After that, anyone who is aggrieved must follow the stipulated legal process put in place to adjudicate electoral disputes, instead of threatening fire and conjuring apocalypse,” he said.

Similarly, INEC has described the call by PDP and LP for Yakubu’s resignation as misplaced.

The commission also said the allegation by Dino Melaye, a spokesman of the PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, that it allocated scores to parties was unfounded and irresponsible.

Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC chairman, in a statement, said contrary to the insinuations by both parties, the results emanating from the states pointed to a free, fair and credible process.

“There are laid down procedures for aggrieved parties or candidates to follow when they are dissatisfied about the outcome of an election. Such procedures do not include calling on the INEC chairman to resign or for the election to be cancelled.

“To be sure, aggrieved parties are free to approach the courts to ventilate their concerns and wait for the matter to be resolved.

“Making inciting comments capable of causing violence or unrest is unacceptable.

“The 2023 general election processes are in their final stages of completion. It is only fair for aggrieved parties to allow the conclusion of the process and approach the courts with their evidence to pursue their cases,” Oyekanmi said.

APC, Tinubu go to court

In a separate development, the APC and Tinubu have instituted a legal action to restrain the LP and the PDP from doing anything to stop the collation and announcement of the results of the February 25 presidential election.

In the court documents filed on Tuesday before the Federal High Court in Kano and marked FHC/KN/CS/43/2023, the Action Alliance and the INEC were joined as defendants; and the APC vice presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima, as a plaintiff.

The plaintiffs, in a motion on notice filed alongside the originating summons, asked the court to make an order restraining the defendants from stopping the collation and announcement of the results because “damages will not adequately compensate for the injury that may be occasioned on the plaintiffs if by the defendants stop the collation of the result.”

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