2023 polls: INEC chairman should be quizzed, investigated —Group

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

By Achiever Peterson 

A christian organisation under the aegis of the National Prayer Altar (NPA) has demanded an investigation of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu for bad performance in the 2023 general election.

The organisation said INEC contradicted its regulations and frustrsred the electoral process, especially on the deployment of logistics and materials.

The Christian group also called on the Department of State Services (DSS) to invite for questioning some high-profile individuals whose comments appeared to have fuelled violence and killings in the communities under their jurisdiction.

According to the christian organisation, such reprehensible hate speeches have not only indicted them of complicity in the genocides that have ravaged their communities but also have the potential to further stir the religious and political intolerance that has made Nigeria one of the most terrorized nations in the world.

The NPA jointly coordinated by Pastor Bosun Emmanuel and Prof. Kontein Trinya, is a daily trans-denominational prayer initiative of Christians from the six-geopolitical zones of Nigeria, Christians in the diaspora, as well as nationals of other countries.

The organisation started on April 18, 2022 and has sustained its daily online prayers to date, with participation in the hundreds.

The NPA made its position known in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday and signed by Bosun Emmanuel (South West), Kontein Trinya (South South), Sylvester Mbamali (South East), Linda Ndache (North East), Alabi Mojirade (North Central) and Hauwa Kure (North West) on behalf of 174 Nigerians from all the geopolitical zones and the Diaspora. 

The statement said, "The 2023 elections have ranked as the worst in the history of Nigeria. Not only did the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) contradict its regulations, but it actively sought to frustrate the electoral process, particularly in the deployment of appropriate facilities and logistics in that election. 

"It is imperative that INEC be interrogated about its handling of the 2023 elections, and the chairman of INEC, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, be properly investigated unless this public officer is beyond the laws of the land. The appropriate human and civil rights organizations in the country should commence a process towards that interrogation, as a precedence in future electoral engagements.

"While the world watches on as the current electoral cases go on at the Tribunal, let it be known that it is the judiciary that is on trial this time, not so much the elections, for Nigerians across political and other divides know the truth. In the weeks to come, Nigerians shall pronounce their verdict on the judiciary, whether guilty or not guilty."

“Certain politicians and their agents have lately been heard on the media making statements that verily amount to reprehensible hate speech. Their comments not only strongly indict them of complicity in the genocides that have ravaged their communities but also have the potential to further stir the religious and political intolerance that has made Nigeria one of the most terrorized nations in the world. 

"Unless the appropriate national security agents are ethnically and religiously biased, they should interrogate those persons the same way they have been known to readily summon lesser others accused of volatile incitements.

"The blatant infringement on public peace by such otherwise respectable high profile persons is where the strident voices of Christian leaders should have been heard, demanding their prosecution or the explanation of their incendiary claims that have been trending on the social media. 

"In Southern Kaduna and all over the country, according to commonly available statistics, several thousands have been killed and countless Christian communities sacked by the Fulani militia often dubiously masked as ‘herdsmen.’ Unfortunately, the condemnation of those atrocities by certain clergies and politicians has been less than deserved."

The organisation also raised concern over the manipulation of ethnic sentiments during the 2023 general election, saying none of the key actors were ethnic candidates.

The NPA said, "We are concerned about the obvious manipulation of ethnic sentiments for political advantage in the country. This social virus is deliberately being resuscitated by self-seeking individuals to the detriment of unity and peace of Nigeria. The candidacy of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not a Yoruba agenda, neither is the candidacy of Mr. Peter Obi an Igbo agenda. 

"The attempt to manipulate an impression that the Yoruba people entirely support Asiwaju Tinubu as their “own” is a mischievous political game. During the presidential election, the Yorubas, like most other Nigerians, demonstrated their exasperation with the corrupt governance of the APC and the PDP in the past twenty-four years. 

"In the same vein, the attempt by some errant Igbos to give the impression that Mr. Peter Obi is an Igbo candidate is equally out of place. That candidate has had the support of progressive Nigerians all over the world; in fact, the support of progressive people everywhere in the world."

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