From Okwe Obi, Abuja

Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), yesterday, said the gale of killings, kidnappings and destruction of property owned by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), were calculated attempts by some powerful forces to scuttle the general elections.

The group cited the lingering fuel scarcity, harsh economy impact, planned face out of the old naira notes and population census as measures to frustrating Nigerians

CNG’s Spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, at a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, noted that it would vehemently reject any undemocratic arrangement short of a transparent, free and fair elections.

Suleiman called on President Muhammadu Buhari towhome he described as a “major beneficiary of credible election,” to absolve himself by reclaiming his statesmanship by standing against any machination against the conduct of credible elections and peaceful handover.

“The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) as usual, has taken stock of events unfolding just a few months to the conduct of general elections in Nigeria, noting especially, the setting in of major factors that negatively affect ordinary Nigerians and potentially frustrate interest in the elections; fuel, electricity, redesigned naira notes, withdrawal limit, hike in tuition and a generally controversial population census.

“The CNG notes also, the unrelenting disturbances in the South-East, encouraged by certain powerful interests entrenched in the current administration in the form of escalated violence using IPOB and other authors of mindless violence and separatism.

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“As the representatives of various interest groups from Northern Nigeria, the CNG has watched and studied these events carefully and with considerable restraint and maturity, until recently, when suspicions of a grand plot to scuttle the 2023 polls reached a point whereby silence has become complicity and inaction no longer an option.

“CNG notes particularly, the ratification and vigorous pursuit of a regime of harsh unrealistic economic and financial policies by the Central Bank of Nigeria less than a month to the election, inflicting pains on the electorate and heating up the political atmosphere.

“Another hard proof of potential threat to a peaceful transition through an acceptable electoral process, is having fuel scarcity grounding activities and frustrating the population a month to the election.

“Already many Nigerian families and businesses are groaning over the scarcity of fuel and the hike in the pump price ranging from N270 to N400 per litre in recent weeks, a move seen by many as the handiwork of high profile saboteurs bent on throwing a wedge in the nation’s democratic process by derailing the coming elections,” he said.

Also, he urged “Nigerian people to prepare to endure the pains and ensure they cast their votes and their votes count, regardless of the antics of enemies of the country and undemocratic elements.

“We alert the global community to the dangers of tolerating a rigged election in Nigeria or any undemocratic arrangement that may not be the result of a credible, free and fair election.”