A group known as Alliance for Yoruba Democratic Movements (AYDM) has raised suspicion of plots to disrupt the 2023 elections by those it said are expected to oversee the success of the election in the first place.
The group warned of grave consequences if the plots to scuttle the February Presidential and National Elections succeed.
In a statement issued on Monday, AYDM, a coalition of 121 community-based, civil society, and professional groups, said there were plots by anti-democratic forces driven by primordial sentiments to scuttle the 2023 National elections and subvert the will of the people.
The group specifically said the lingering fuel scarcity, even close to the general elections and the naira redesign policy which has caused chaos across the country as a result of scarcity of the new currency notes, were all plots by the current administration to stoke public discontent which could degenerate into actions that might scuttle the democratic process.
“President Mohammadu Buhari and the Independent Electoral Commission, (INEC) are about to make or mar history with grave consequences for Nigeria and the West African sub-region if the option is to work against public aspirations,” the AYDM in a statement signed by its General Secretary, Popoola Ajayi and Organising Secretary, Suyi Ehonwa said on Monday.
The coalition said: “The fuel scarcity has lingered for three months and will continue into February, the month of the election. This has never happened in this country. Nigerians have been made to submit all they have to the banks. Markets are being closed down. Shops are closed. Cash reserves at homes are exhausted, and transfer transactions are largely blocked with many hitches. This is nothing but a plot to instigate Nigerians into spontaneous violence to justify the gameplan of scuttling the democratic process.”
The AYDM said the sufferings are orchestrated by state actors who are using state institutions to suffocate the people. It added that all these are happening amidst the lack of electricity and skyrocketing inflation.
The coalition said Nigeria is facing the desperation of a cabal within the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) whose main agenda is “fascism and the return of Nigeria to dictatorship by a tyrannical few.”
The AYDM said: “reports from several local and international agencies suggest the imminent emergence of a Presidential candidate from the South. This is a bitter pill for the forces of darkness that are networking in the political and economic classes to prevent the sovereignty of the people.”
It said left on their own, Nigerians want fairness, equity, and the reclaim of the country’s lingering socio-economic crisis.
‘The fascists live in their own world, a dark room without a window. They don’t care about how the outside looks like. They do not represent the interests of their own long-suffering people.
“They stand only for themselves for the savage accumulation of wealth, a way of life that has brought unprecedented sufferings to their own people, conducts that fuel terrorism and murderous gangs to their own peril. This is the reason why progressive forces all over the country must unite to isolate the fascists and turn the table against them.”
“The enemies of democracy are neither motivated by the common good nor the interest of their own suffering people.
“They are a few paranoid tyrants who have no agenda apart from ethnic chauvinism. They seem prepared to plunge the country into misery and agony in order to realise their orchestrated plots.”
The group praised the equity, honesty, determination and spirited contributions of many progressive forces in the North, including Kanuri, Fulani and Hausa leaders to ensure that justice and democracy thrive and other parts of the country.
The group said Nigerians irrespective of tribe, religion, colour or creed need to unite to resist the agenda of a few despots who want Nigeria to remain their eternal colony. “This is the time for unity of all Nigerians. The coming elections must be seen to be free and fair.
“Any imposition or thwarting of the will of the people is dangerous to the health of not only Nigeria, but the stability of West Africa sub-region.
AYDM warned of the consequences of undermining the reactions of Nigerians if any attempt is made to stop the election, impose a state of emergency or plan any martial rule.
“This may lead to chaos never before seen in Nigeria and the international community should know who to hold responsible for the crimes against the people of Nigeria committed by a few people with a stone-age mind-set,” the ADYM added.