Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd) has said next year’s general elections may not be the best as a result of monetization of the process.
Gen. Abdulsalami, who is the head of the National Peace Committee (NPC), said this in a statement he personally signed on the coming June 18 Ekiti State governorship election.
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The body, which has Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, as the secretary, also noted the acrimonious conduct of the recent party primaries, and the elevation of the ‘delegate position’ over and above the welfare of ordinary Nigerians.
“We are aware that the 2023 election may not be the best, as can be attested to by the monetisation of the process, the acrimonious conduct of the recent party primaries, and the elevation of the ‘delegate position’ over and above the welfare of ordinary Nigerians,” Abdulsalami said.
He, however, urged voters in Saturday’s governorship election to choose peace over and above electoral violence.
In the statement also signed by the Head of Secretariat of the NPC, Fr. Atta Barkindo, Gen. Abdulsalami urged people of the state to step out without fear, but with hope to exercise their franchise and vote to deepen the democratic process in Ekiti.
“The commitment of the people of Ekiti to democratic ideals and the tenacity of ordinary Nigerians in support of our democracy and its processes, must be applauded in all its ramifications.”
“In the run-up to the Ekiti governorship elections, the people of Ekiti are the ones mobilised to attend the rallies, and on election day, they will most certainly abandon their means of livelihood, line-up for hours at polling units, often under harsh weather conditions, with no absolute guarantee for safety of their lives.
“Yet, they will patiently wait and vote with hope that things will be better and that their living conditions will at least improve. They carry the hope of generations yet unborn. This set of voters, not just in Ekiti but across the country, are the real custodians of democracy.
“Their willingness to step out and vote despite the disappointments that seem to accompany previous elections indicate that democracy in all its limitations has been accepted as the best form of government for Nigeria,” the former Head of State said.
He also urged all the people taking part in the governorship election to follow due process, conduct themselves with civility, patriotism and should not take the laws into their hands, no matter the grievances they may hold against individuals, the state, or electoral bodies or security agencies.
“The NPC also wishes to announce that a peace accord will be signed by the various political parties and stakeholders on Wednesday, June 15, at the Amazing Grace Events Hall, Ikokun, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.
“In particular, we call on our youths not to make themselves pawns in the political chessboard of the political class. The youths must realise that the security, stability, and future of Nigeria remains their common patrimony. They must make themselves available to become ambassadors of peace, retaining hope in Nigeria and support the democratic process in Ekiti state, and Nigeria in general,” he said.