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Presidential poll aftermath: NSCIA cautions against incitement

The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has called…

The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has called for caution over threats of violence and inciting comments in the aftermath of the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections.

Prof. Salisu Shehu​​​​​ and Arc. Zubairu Haruna Usman-Ugwu, NSCIA Deputy Secretary-General​​​ and Director of Administration respectively said this Wednesday in Abuja in a statement.

The council commended the leadership and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission for their display of professionalism in the conduct of the elections despite the daunting challenges experienced.

It noted the innovations introduced by the commission, especially the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation Systems (BVAS).

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“This has not only improved the electoral process but also added to the credibility of the results. Not surprisingly therefore, there has been an outpour of commendations and plaudits for INEC from numerous governmental, non-governmental organisations and international observer missions on the conduct of the election.

“However, the council has observed with serious concern the high level of unsubstantiated claims, threats and incitements emanating from certain quarters of the country, especially from people who ought to be the preachers of peace and serve as moral compass for the society, consequent to the declaration of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the 2023 presidential election.

“The level of unwarranted provocation and unnecessary heating up of the polity, which are capable of creating disunity and threatening the security of the Nigerian nation, is worrisome,” the NSCIA said.

It appealed to all Nigerians to exercise decorum, be peaceful, prayerful and law-abiding in the face of the current unwarranted provocations.

The NSCIA also urged the security agencies to be proactive and rise up to their responsibility by decisively dealing with the unlawful utterances and actions of such elements and individuals, no matter their status, who have continued to fan the embers of disunity and discord in the country.

“This should be done with all sense of seriousness and urgency. A stitch in time saves nine.

“Similarly, council calls on politicians who feel aggrieved by the outcome of the elections to seek redress through appropriate legal channels as provided for in the electoral act and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria rather than resulting to violence and unlawful acts.

“They should remember that Nigeria is the only country that we can call ours,” the statement said.

The NSCIA urged INEC to remain steadfast, committed and not be dissuaded in the discharge of its lawful duties, by being focused  on the conduct of the forthcoming March 11 gubernatorial and state assembly elections.

“The commissions should do everything within its powers to address the challenges it faced during the February 25 election so as to prevent a reoccurrence,” the NSCIA said.

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