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2023 Elections: Obasanjo’s call for election cancellation provocative – FG

The call for general elections in 2023 made by former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been characterized as self-serving and provocative by the Federal Government.

This was stated in a statement that Segun Adeyemi, the media aide of the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, issued.

With “his inciting, self-serving, and provocative letter on the elections,” Mohammed urged the former president not to postpone the elections.

He stated that the former president’s request to President Muhammadu Buhari to persuade Chairman Mahmood Yakubu of the Independent National Electoral Commission to halt the process of collating election results and address the allegations made against INEC by a variety of sources was nothing more than a calculated attempt to undermine the electoral process.

Keep in mind that the People’s Democratic Party and the Labour Party, two of the opposition parties, had accused INEC of being complicit in alleged electoral malpractices.

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The minister expressed shock and disbelief that a former president could spread wild allegations against the electoral process and spread unverified claims.

He stated, “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 claimed that former President Obasanjo was a known partisan.

Mohammed asserted that Obasanjo “organised perhaps the worst election since Nigeria’s return to democratic rule in 1999, therefore he is the least qualified to advise a President whose determined effort to leave a legacy of free, fair, credible, and transparent election is well acknowledged within and outside of Nigeria.” Obasanjo was in office at the time of Mohammed’s allegation.

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

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“Instead, former President Obasanjo used his unannounced letter to suggest, or perhaps even wish for, an election that did not result in a winner and a descent into anarchy; used his time to make fun of electoral officials who can’t defend themselves, and he tried to cover up his personal choice by pretending to be the choice of the people. This is dishonest.

The minister said that people who were hurt by the election should go to the courts to get their problems fixed, not call for the election to be canceled.

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“Based on the preliminary reports of the ECOWAS Electoral Observation Mission and the Commonwealth Observer Group, among other groups that observed the election, INEC appears to be availing itself creditably with the 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.

“Therefore, please exercise restraint and allow the official electoral body to conclude its duty by announcing the results of the national elections in 2023. 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.

He stated, “After that, anyone who is aggrieved must follow the stipulated legal process established to resolve electoral disputes, rather than threatening fire and conjuring apocalypse.”

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