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2023: Critical Issues That Could Mar Elections In Nigeria If Not Addressed – Right Groups

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – As Nigeria counts down to its 2023 general election, rights group, International Society for Civil Liberties and rule of law,  Intersociety, has identified eleven critical areas and issues most likely to mar the February 25th, presidential poll, and push Nigeria Into Post Election Complex Uncertainties if not urgently addressed.

It stressed the need for the said issues to be tackled by the relevant Authorities, as the  2023 Presidential election  is Nigeria’s last chance of getting the country back on  the right track or pushing it into intractable complex  uncertainties 

The group maintained that in the spirit of justice, equity and fair play, other segments of the country should support the South East part of the nation  to produce a Nigeria president of Igbo extraction that would succeed president Muhammadu Buhari come May 29, 2023.

It warned that “there may be far-reaching consequences and social control system breakdown after the 2023 presidential poll if the presidency of South-East extraction is scuttled or denied.

Addressing a joint international media press conference by Eastern Nigeria Democracy and Human Rights Coalition (ENDHRC), Coordinated by Intersociety in Enugu on Sunday, Board Chairman of the rights group and Covener of the Coalition, Emeka Umeagbalasi, who spoke on behalf of the body, warned that if not urgently looked into, the situation may launched Nigeria into post election crisis

One of the issues raised by the group is the  militarization of parts of the country, including South East Nigeria during elections, insisting that such an act is highly undemocratic and would do more harm than good to the nation’s  electoral process.

“Fearing youth uprising/”Boys Oyee”(mob uprising) against South-East political bootlickers and counterfeit Biafra agitators if 2023 presidential poll and South-East presidency project are violently disrupted and denied 

“Like in the 2019 presidential poll, the Nigerian Military must be closely monitored and stopped from militarizing and terrorizing the Feb 2023 presidential poll and paving way for a predetermined outcome.

The group also noted that “Like in the 2019 Presidential and January 2020 Imo Governorship Supreme Court travesties of justice, the Nigerian Judiciary must be closely monitored and stopped from a disgraceful repeat of the 2019 armada of judicial hara-kiri in the post 2023 Presidential Poll litigations. Dark days of Zainab Bulkachuwa at the Court of Appeal and Muhammed Tanko at the Supreme Court must not be repeated in 2023.  

According to them, “INEC is putting Feb 2023 Presidential Poll in danger by failing to answer sixteen critical questions over permanent voters’ cards, voters’ list, underage, presidential poll date and voters’ protection

“Unmasking most dangerous areas for Igbo voters in Lagos and Northern Nigeria requiring Election Day international monitoring and effective policing and voters’ protection, adding that Imo and Ebonyi States as most dangerous areas for independent and conscientious voters in the East must be closely monitored.

“Election Day global searchlight and monitoring a must in twelve major presidential poll rigging Northern States of Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Jigawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Borno, Bauchi, Yobe, Adamawa and Niger so as to disallow  18m “dead votes” from being injected by INEC into the Feb 25, 2023 Presidential Poll final results.

The group explained that “This Joint Global Media Conference, six days to the all-important Feb 25, 2023 Presidential Poll is built on the recent Intersociety’s global media conference in Enugu on Christmas Day of 25th Dec 2022 during which, a detailed 27-Page Special Investigative Report, exposing INEC and its 50 major poll rigging plots/other illegalities was unveiled. 

“Recall that the major highlight of the 27-Page Report lies on the fact that Nigeria’s INEC is organizing the country’s Feb 25th 2023 Presidential Poll with a whopping 77.7m Nigerian citizens of voting age disenfranchised and discriminatorily excluded from participating and voting in the crucial poll. 

It alleged that “the worst of it all has to do with the fact that the disenfranchisement was brutally systematic and ethno-religiously targeted and aimed at brutally suppressing the voting population and strength of the voting citizens of non Muslim faith particularly those from the South-East and South-South including their sedentary and pastoralist components. 

“Presently, there are estimated 20m ineligible identities in the country’s National Register of Voters including eight million Muslim children of underage, two million illegal Muslim migrants, four million fake or fictitious names and six million stolen or diverted or destroyed identities or PVCs. Nigeria’s National Register of Voters is also found to be the dirtiest and most compromised in the world. 

“Intersociety’s 27-Page Special Investigative Report had generally found that millions of citizens of voting age of full blood Nigerian citizenship have been disenfranchised and denied voting right. Found too were unchecked cases of personal data theft and destruction, diversion and impersonation of the registered citizens and citizens-under-registration’s PVCs/personal data supplied to INEC. 

“Also, many of the tens of millions of citizens denied registration and PVCs are non Muslims of South-East and South-South origin including large numbers of citizens of the two regions living outside their regions where they reside or work. 

“These are in addition to a good number of non Eastern Christians and other non Muslims. Northern citizens of Muslim faith including their counterparts living with disabilities were maximally registered and given PVCs that their millions of underage children and illegal migrants were sought after and unlawfully registered in clear breach of Section 12 of the 2022 Electoral Act as amended and issued with PVCs; whereas in the densely populated rainforest Southern and Middle-Belt regions, average of three out of every five were not registered. 

“In the South-South and South-East, three out of every five were not issued with PVCs during PVC distribution.   

“This Joint Global Media Conference is put together by Intersociety and its partners under the aegis of Eastern Democracy and Human Rights Coalition; relying on unimpeachable research and investigative reports of Intersociety.

” The core objective of the Media Conference is to highlight eleven critical issues and areas threatening to mar the Feb 25, 2023 Presidential Poll and bring them to the urgent attention of the political actors in Nigeria and diplomatic chiefs of the 32 key international Democracies including the EU, US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, State of Israel, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Czech, Portugal, Norway, Finland, Austria, Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Greece, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Australia, the Vatican, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico and Intergovernmental institutions like the United Nations, etc. 

“Intersociety had recently alerted the respected Democratic Leaders of the referenced countries through a special letter dated Friday, 10th Feb 2023; prayerfully urging them to rise to the occasion to prevent Nigeria from being pushed into post 2023 presidential poll intractable complex uncertainties with capacity of being far above their humanitarian intervention and control if erupted. 

“The respected Democratic Leaders were also firmly informed that Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has earned notoriety “in playing ethno-religious cards and made itself a compromised electoral umpire incapable of conducting free, popular, inclusive, non-discriminatory and credible presidential poll in Nigeria on Feb 25, 2023”. 

“As it stands, the Commission is battling with 1,241 court cases in the 2023 pre-election process owing to its shambolic preparations, corporate incompetence and partisanship.  

“Democratic Presidency Of South-East Extraction Denied Since 1957-60

The recent research work by Intersociety had empirically indicated that in the Nigeria’s democratic dispensations since its colonial transition in 1957 and independence in 1960, the South-East had never produced the country’s executive president under presidential system of government or executive prime minister under parliamentary system of government and this had been the case since the country’s independence on 1st Oct 1960; a period of over 62 years. 

“Intersociety’s statistics further showed that Nigeria was centrally and executively governed by Late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Belewa as Prime Minister in the parliamentary system of governance, representing the present Bauchi State in the North-East Region. Late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Belewa was in office from 1957-1966 while Late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe served as ceremonial/non executive President in 1963-1966 and ‘Governor-General’ in 1960-1963. 

Umeagbalasi,  revealed “that Intersociety’s findings also showed that in the Presidential Democracy of 1979-1983 and 1999-2023, there had been elected Nigeria’s executive president of South-East extraction. Excluded and not counted in the Intersociety’s empirical findings was the military era of 1966-1979 and 1983-1999. 

“This was on account of the fact that military involvement in public governance is an aberration and repugnant to democracy and democratic process anywhere in the world including Nigeria. 

“Intersociety’s findings also revealed that the Region with the highest number of years in democratic presidential seat of power in Nigeria is the North-West Region which occupied the country’s elective/executive presidency from 1979-1983, 2007-2010 and 2015-2023; a total of fifteen years. 

“North-West Region is followed by the North-East Region where Late Sir AbubakarTafawa Belewa came from (Bauchi State) which held the country’s executive prime ministerial seat from the transitional period of 1957-1960 and 1960-1966, a period of nine years.

 “The third Region in Nigeria with the longest occupation of the country’s presidential seat of power is the South-West Region which held democratic presidency of Nigeria from 1999-2007; a total of eight years; followed by the South-South Region from 2010-2015; a total of five years.

“In the whole, therefore, out of the country’s six geopolitical regions, only South-East and North-Central Regions have never taken a shot at Nigeria’s civilian presidency or its equivalent in the parliamentary system since 1957-60. 

“As for the North-Central Region having not occupied the country’s executive democratic presidency or premier since 1957-60, the Region, by presidential executive power convention, was in charge of the country’s military presidency from 1985-1993 and 1998-1999.

” This solely marks out the South-East Region as the most cheated and only geopolitical region that had never produced Nigeria’s civilian/democratic presidency since 1957-60; a period of over 65 years; thereby marking the Region out as the best qualified to produce the next democratic president of Nigeria in 2023. 

“Therefore, as far as the 2023 Nigeria’s presidency is concerned, those laying claims to it other than the four presidential candidates from the South-East are not only interlopers but also exponents of “born-to-rule” and “born-to-be-ruled”.  

“South-East Presidency Not Winners Take All: 19 Top Seats Must Be Shared By Six Regions the 19 key Federation’s seats of power under reference are offices of the President, Vice President, Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker of House of Reps, Deputy Speaker of House of Reps, Chief Justice of Nigeria, President of the Court of Appeal, Attorney General of the Federation, Solicitor General of the Federation, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, Inspector General of Police, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Defense Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Director General of SSS (DSS) and Director General of the National Intelligence Agency. 

Our Correspondent reports that also present at the media briefing was the Civil Liberties Organization CLO.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=85416

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