Inciteful comments: Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs wades in, asks security agencies to be decisive

The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has advised Nigerians to refrain from inciteful comments and threats to life over the just concluded 2023 presidential elections.
Anti riots Police officers arrive at state headquarters of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to secure electoral materials in Yola on February 26, 2023 the day after Nigeria's presidential and general election. The have been urged to checkmate inciteful comments from general public.(Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)
Anti riots Police officers arrive at state headquarters of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to secure electoral materials on February 26, 2023 the day after Nigeria’s presidential and general election. The have been urged to checkmate inciteful comments from general public. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has advised Nigerians to refrain from inciteful comments and threats to life over the just concluded 2023 presidential elections.
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In a statement, yesterday, by Deputy Secretary-General and Director of Administration of the group, Prof. Salisu Shehu and Zubairu Haruna Usman-Ugwu, he warned those making inflaming comments to desist, stressing that Nigeria remains an indivisible nation.

The group commended the leadership and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for professionalism in the conduct of the elections. It noted innovations introduced by the Commission, especially use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), though there were daunting challenges experienced.

According to the group, the display of professionalism has not only improved the electoral process but also added to credibility of the results. It said there has been outpouring of commendations by members of the public, including non-governmental organisations and international bodies.
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According to the statement, the level of unwarranted provocation and unnecessary heating up of the polity is worrisome and capable of creating disunity and threatening the security of the nation. It appealed to all Nigerians to exercise decorum, be peaceful, prayerful and law-abiding in the face of current unwarranted provocations.

The group called on politicians who feel aggrieved by the outcome of the elections to seek redress through appropriate legal channels, as provided for in the Electoral Act and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, rather than resort to violence and unlawful acts.

The statement reads in part: “The Council has observed with serious concern the high level of unsubstantiated claims, threats and incitement emanating from certain quarters of the country, especially from people who ought to be preachers of peace and serve as moral compass for the society, consequent to the declaration of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the 2023 presidential election.

“The Council appeals to all Nigerians to exercise decorum, be peaceful, prayerful and law-abiding in the face of the current unwarranted provocations. It also calls on security agencies to be proactive and rise to their responsibilities by decisively dealing with unlawful utterances and actions of such elements and individuals, no matter their status, who have continued to fan the embers of disunity and discord in the country. ”

“This should be done with all sense of seriousness and urgency. A stitch in time saves nine!”
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