•Warns against use of judiciary to thwart voters’ will 

From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

PanYoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has urged the Federal Government to ensure that the 2023 general elections hold as scheduled, and that the judiciary should not be used to thwart the conduct of the polls.

The group in a statement by the organisation’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Jare Ajayi, yesterday,  in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, tasked the government and all stakeholders to ensure there was no change in this year’s elections and handing-over date on May 29, 2023.

The organisation said call for adherence to  the election dates  of February 25 for presidential and National Assembly polls and March 11 governorship and House of Assembly elections became imperative, “partly due to the alarm note sounded by the spokesman of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Dr. Hakeem Baba-Hamed, on the possibility of using the court to thwart the election process as well as difficulties being inflicted on Nigerians whose consequences may be used as excuse to jeopardize the ongoing civil rule.” 

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Said Ajayi: “The contrived pains can be seen in the unabated insecurity, heightened difficulties in getting fuel, in getting new Naira notes and in getting other energy sources such as electricity, gas, kerosene and diesel. If the difficulties, being experienced in these areas continued and Nigerians begin to react, their (peaceful) expression of frustration may be used as an excuse to want to tinker with the democratic experiment going on. Such would not be acceptable in any way.”

ACF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed had last week Friday, January 27 disclosed that there were insinuations that the planned elections may not hold, “and some kind of unconstitutional contraption may be forced on Nigerians after May this year.”

Afenifere said it was on the same page with ACF in its warning that “Nigerians will not accept to live under any arrangement that offends the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The group also called on the judiciary not to allow itself to be used to imperil democracy through unhelpful and perhaps frivolous litigations.