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2023: Ensure credible polls, Islamic Scholars tell INEC

The National Headquarters of the Council of Imams and Ulama has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remain impartial and ensure free,…

The National Headquarters of the Council of Imams and Ulama has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remain impartial and ensure free, fair and credible polls.

The council in a communiqué issued after its annual general meeting held over the weekend in Kaduna also called on security agencies to selflessly superintend the conduct of all the elections and contain any miscreant or trouble shooter whose conduct is inimical to the successful elections.

The communique signed by the National Secretary of the council, Professor Muhammad S. Abubakar, further called on the contestants to be good winners and good losers saying, “Those defeated should follow the appropriate legal channels to channel their grievances while the winners should refrain from provocative and dishonorable behavior.”

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Some of the resolution of the meeting reads in parts, “The council equally calls on INEC to remain an impartial umpire for the elections to be free, fair and credible. Nigerians are also strongly urged to come out in their multitudes and exercise their franchise without succumbing to the highest bidder.

“The Council calls on the government to massively recruit security personnel, to embark on pre-emptive attacks within the bandits hide out, to adequately equip and train them, to improve on their welfare and intelligence gathering, and to rid the services of bad and rotten eggs among them.

“The council calls for the lifting of all deadlines imposed on currency retrieval and that the old and new currencies should be allowed to run concurrently until the old currency is completely phased out, the CBN should make the new currencies available in large quantity throughout the country and without any restrictions.

“The Councils calls for the urgent redress of fuel scarcity and the escalation of its prices. As a matter of urgency constructed private refineries should be allowed to commence operation to save our foreign reserve; the council supports the idea of ‘ranching’ (Ruga) which is a global best practice. No matter what is spent along that line is not worth losing a single life. It also calls on the federal government to institute a high judicial panel of enquiry to dig out the perpetrators of RUKUBI crime and get them punished accordingly.”

On the forthcoming census exercise, the urged the government to consider adjusting the date for the exercise till after the Holy Month of Ramadan so that Muslims can fully participate without any hindrance.

While commending the governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, for the defeat of Boko Haram insurgents and resettlement of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), the council commiserated with the people of Turkey and Syria over the devastating earthquake, “Muslims all over the world should extend the hand of brotherhood by conveying relief materials to the victims and praying for the departed souls.”

The meeting was attended by Muslim scholars, Imams and academician from across the states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

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