The Federal Government has cautioned former President Olusegun Obasanjo not to truncate the 2023 general elections with his inciting, comments.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made this known in a statement in response to Bosanko’s call for the cancelation of the presidential and National Assembly elections held on Saturday.
Obasanjo had on Monday issued a statement calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the ongoing election process and ensure that the right things were done to avoid subverting the will of Nigerians who came out en mass to vote on Saturday.
He urged the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, to cancel elections where it was not properly conducted and organise a fresh one.
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Reacting to that, Mohammed described Obasanjo’s statement as a provocative and self-serving one, adding that what the former president framed as an “appeal for caution and rectification” was nothing but a calculated attempt to undermine the electoral process and a willful incitement to violence.
The minister said he is shocked that a former president could base his judgment of the outcome of the election on unverified claims picked up from the streets against the electoral process.
He further said that Obasanjo is the least qualified to advise President Buhari on what to do to ensure free, fair, and credible elections.
“As the whole nation waits with bated breath for the result of last Saturday’s national elections amid unnecessary tension created by professional complainants and political jesters, what is expected from a self-respecting elder statesman are words and actions that douse tension and serve as a soothing balm.
“Instead, former president Obasanjo used his unsolicited letter to insinuate, or perhaps wish for, an inconclusive election and a descent into anarchy.
“He used his time to cast aspersion on electoral officials who are unable to defend themselves, while surreptitiously seeking to dress his personal choice in the garb of the people’s choice. This is duplicitous,’’ the minister said
The minister urged those calling for the cancellation of the election over electoral infractions should wait till the end of the process and seek legal means of redress.
“Therefore, those arrogating to themselves the power to cancel an election and unilaterally fix a date for a new one, ostensibly to ameliorate perceived electoral infractions, should please exercise restraint.
“They should allow the official electoral body to conclude its duty by announcing the results of the 2023 national elections.
“After that, anyone who is aggrieved must follow the stipulated legal process put in place to adjudicate electoral disputes, instead of threatening fire and conjuring apocalypse,’’ he said.