For the umpteenth time, the Pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, has called on the federal government and all the stakeholders to ensure that there is no change in this year’s elections and the handing-over date on May 29, 2023.
The organization also expressed concern on the difficulty being experienced by Nigerians in getting fuel and the new naira notes.
Afenifere’s position was contained in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi on Monday.
The organisation specifically charged the judiciary not to be used to truncate the elections.
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It stated that the need to reiterate the sanctity of February/March elections became imperative partly due to the alarm raised by the spokesman for 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.
The statement said, “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 continue 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.”
Afenifere spokesman said the organization 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 added that in spite of the fact that Afenifere had been strident in its call for a constitution that would usher in a restructured Nigeria, “for now, citizens have no choice but 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”.
Afenifere called on the judiciary not to allow itself to be used “to imperil democracy through unhelpful and perhaps frivolous litigations such as the one brought by one Chief Ambrose Albert Owuru wanting to stop the forthcoming presidential election.”
“Luckily, the case which was heard by Honourable Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo of a Federal High Court in Abuja was dismissed on Monday,” it noted.
On the challenges faced by Nigerians on the new naira notes before the extension of the deadline in currency notes’ swap from January 31 to February 10 by the CBN Governor, Ajayi said that it was symptomatic of the government’s penchant for making the people go through avoidable pains.
“From the beginning of January this year, Nigerians have been calling on the CBN to extend the deadline. The calls were predicated on the non-availability of new naira notes and the impossibility of being able to have the ones on hand swapped for the new ones before the expiration of the deadline on January 31. The new notes were difficult to obtain either inside the banks, on the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) or from the POS,” it said.