Prof. Lai Olurode, a former National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned former President Olusegun Obasanjo and others calling for the cancellation of last Saturday’s presidential poll on account of some irregularities not to set the nation on fire.
Olurode, a retired professor of Sociology, described such call as unpatriotic and irresponsible.
He added that any cancellation of the poll results midway was an invitation to violence.
He expressed his views in a write-up on Tuesday, a copy which was obtained by vitalnews.
The full text :
To contemplate cancellation of February 23, 2023 elections is not only preposterous but counter productive and a grievous invitation to violence.
Yes, the Independent National Electoral Commission could certainly have done better and had indeed done it’s best which might not have met our expectations and international standards, there are legal remedies to whatever imperfections or lapses that are observed.
In all honesty, considering Nigeria’s geographical expanse, the best we can do is to remain positive in the believe that INEC will have a better outing in the next set of elections in March.
Moreover, election cancellation will be a setback and a reversal of our democratization efforts to which none should subscribe to.
It is not a patriotic call from former President Olusegun Obasanjo, probably emanating from ‘bad belle’ and personal hatred, vendetta and settling of old scores between Obasanjo and the presidential candidate of APC whose prospects of winning eventually looks brighter.
In Nigeria’s electoral history, even under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, there had been worst elections.
There was indeed nothing to be proud of in Nigeria’s 2003 elections which witnessed bare face, blatant large scale rigging and even fundamentally flawed, Nigerians tolerated these excesses and acts of impunity for the sake of the then nascent democracy.
So was the 2007 general elections. What I expect President Obasanjo to do as a foremost elder statesman is to join hands with other compatriots on how to rescue journeying to a possible Slaughter’s slab.
Even, elections in saner and more developed societies aren’t devoid of imperfections, fiasco and skirmishes.
I advise that no one in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari should cheaply latch on to the proposal of Obasanjo as an excuse or invitation to stage a palace coup in self succession or a return to full scale military rule.
Nigerians must continue to stand firm for democracy with all its limitations.
“There is no alternative to peaceful co-existence in a country that is so diverse as Nigeria.
“We are in a delicate phase in our fragile country and we should join hands to ensure and avoid any crisis of succession.
“INEC should be encouraged to manage the process to the very end. We must avoid aborting the exercise at all cost.
“No return to the 1993 election imbroglio in which M. K. O. Abiola was robbed of victory after victory at the polls. We must rescue nigeria from a possible slaughter slab,” Olurode explained. (vitalnewsngr.com)
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