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Buhari’s quiet on charges against INEC perilous – SMBL

On the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) platform, thought leaders and elder statesmen from four of the country’s six geopolitical zones stated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s silence regarding allegations of irregularities and compromise against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was dangerous.

The leaders of the Middle-Belt, Ohanaeze, Pan Niger Delta Forum, South-South, and Afenifere groups said in a statement that complaints increased when President Buhari had to go on an international trip soon after the elections.

Chief Edwin Clark, the leader of the PANDEF, said in his statement; Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Afenifere; Middle Belt Forum President, Dr. Pogu Bitrus; Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, a former Governor of Anambra State and Ambassador Okey Emuchay of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, SMBLF, took a swipe at President Buhari’s open declaration in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, that he will inaugurate President-elect Bola Tinubu as President of Nigeria on May 29, 2023, and that there will not be a

The leaders claim that the President does not have any authority to decide who will be sworn in as president on May 29, 2023, given that the case is currently before the judiciary and the President has no known authority to decide for the Judiciary who will win the case.

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The leaders pleaded with the President to let the Judiciary function freely and free Nigeria from any political turmoil.

They stated that his remarks are discriminatory and disrespectful of a fair hearing, in addition to being in violation of the law, obstructing justice, and intimidating the Lord Justices who are scheduled to hear the case.

According to the leaders, statements made by the Presidency ought to be viewed as an indirect attempt to direct the Court as to what it ought to do regarding the case.

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“POST 2023 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND STATE OF THE NATION” is the subject of the letter.

The letter read to some extent: ” Mr. President, it is hoped that you will carefully consider the points made here and act accordingly, not only for the sake of Nigeria’s unity and stability but also for the continuation of our democratic journey.

“Your Excellency, the conduct and outcome of the presidential election on February 25 are considered fraudulent by voters across Nigeria of all ages and demographics. In the same way, a lot of local and foreign observers came to the conclusion that the election did not live up to the expectations of Nigerians and that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not follow the Electoral Act 2022 or even its own rules.

“This was despite the enormous expenditure of taxpayer funds by INEC and the promises of free, fair, and credible elections made to Nigerians and the international community prior to the elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”

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“In fact, there is a palpable tension in the country, and Nigeria would have been sweltering right now if it weren’t for the pleas for calm made by well-meaning Nigerians, especially Mr. Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, and the majority of us, elders and statesmen from all over the country.

“Unfortunately, it appears Mr. President and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, do not appreciate the mood of the country, while we are imploring for peace and calm on the part of all who are dissatisfied with the conduct and outcome of the polls, and to hold forth for the judiciary to dispense justice on the matter.”

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