From Okwe Obi, Abuja

A coalition of 52 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 also cited the lingering fuel scarcity, harsh economy, planned phase out of the old naira notes and population census as measures aimed at 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 election.

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Suleiman called on President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he described as a ‘major beneficiary of credible election’ to stand against any machination that will be inimical to the conduct of credible elections and peaceful handover.

“As the representatives of various interest groups from the 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,” he said.