The Nigeria Interreligious Council (NIREC) has rejected claims by some prominent citizens and other Western nations that the 2023 elections may make or mar the country.
The council is co-chaired by the Sultan of Sokoto and President of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Archbishop Daniel Okoh.
The council took the position on Tuesday in Abuja at its 4th quarterly meeting with the theme, “Peaceful and Credible Elections for National Renaissance.”
It said with the collective action of critical stakeholders and the citizenry, a national rebirth for Nigeria could happen after next year’s election.
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Recall that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had said the 2023 elections may make or mar Nigeria when the CAN President visited him at his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.
However, in his address at the meeting, the Sultan dismissed fears of a brewing storm over the forthcoming polls, saying he did not believe in such negative testimonies coming from those he described as ‘enemies’ of the country.
“Those countries that keep on saying these things have their own very serious problems, but their systems work to some extent. So, if our systems work, we will be better off. I affirm my belief that Nigeria is much better than so many of these countries.
“The 2023 elections are just another exercise in which people will go out and vote for whom they want and at the end of it, INEC will announce who the winner is,” the Sultan said.
Earlier, the CAN president said that the ugly history of pre-or post-electoral violence would not be repeated in 2023 if all critical stakeholders decided to halt the trend through strategic conversation that appeals to the conscience of the political class.
In his keynote speech, the SGF, Boss Mustapha, said the forthcoming general elections should not be seen as a do-or-die affair but rather a peaceful one.