2023 Elections Must Hold As Scheduled, Afenifere Warns FG

The Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to do everything possible to ensure that the 2023 general elections hold as scheduled, and that judiciary should not be used to thwart the conduct of the polls.

The accusation was made by Afenifere in a statement provided to journalists in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, on Monday and released by the group’s national publicity secretary, Mr. Jare Ajayi.

Afenifere contends that the government and other relevant parties must take steps to prevent any changes to the date of this year’s elections or the handover ceremony on May 29, 2023.

The organisation emphasised the need to reiterate the sancrosancy of February 25th presidential and National Assembly polls and March 11th governorship and House of Assembly elections became imperative, “partly due to the alarm note sounded by the spokesman of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Dr. Hakeem Baba-Hamed, on the possibility of using the court to thwart the election process as well as difficulties being inflicted on Nigerians whose consequences may be used as excuse to jeopardize the ongoing civil rule.

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‘The contrived pains can be seen in the unabated insecurity, heightened difficulties in getting fuel, in getting new Naira notes and in getting other energy sources such as electricity, gas, kerosene and diesel. If the difficulties, being experienced in these areas continued and Nigerians begin to react, their (peaceful) expression of frustration may be used as an excuse to want to tinker with the democratic experiment going on. Such would not be acceptable in any way.’

The ACF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed had last week Friday, January 27th, disclosed that there were insinuations that the planned elections may not hold, “and some kind of unconstitutional contraption may be forced on Nigerians after May this year.”

Afenifere spokesman then stated that the organisation is on the same page with ACF in its warning that “Nigerians will not accept to live under any arrangement that offends the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

He was quick to add that in spite of the fact that Afenifere has been strident in its call for a constitution that will usher in a Restructured Nigeria, “for now, citizens have no choice other than to abide by the constitutional provisions, especially on how to change governments in the country – which is through the electoral process as well as peaceful handing-over to the winner.”

Commenting on the trauma that Nigerians are being made to pass through before the announcement of the extension of deadline in currency notes’ swap from January 31 to February 10 by the CBN Governor, Ajayi said that it was symptomatic of government’s penchant for making the people go through avoidable pains.

Africa Today News, New York

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