Wednesday, 4th October 2023

GoNigeria stands with Nigerian voters over 2023 elections

By Guardian Editor
28 March 2023   |   4:07 am
The GoNigeria Initiative has commended and applauded millions of Nigerian voters who turned out to exercise their civic responsibilities in the just concluded 2023 general elections.

A man walks past ballot boxes used during the presidential and National Assembly elections.(Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

The GoNigeria Initiative has commended and applauded millions of Nigerian voters who turned out to exercise their civic responsibilities in the just concluded 2023 general elections.

In a statement released by the Initial Advocates of GoNigeria, it said despite difficult and challenging circumstances related to insecurity, fuel scarcity, the Naira redesign policy and a rise in campaign hate speech, Nigerians showed their determination to participate in elections thereby promoting democracy and government accountability.

It however, condemns in strong terms all acts of lawlessness perpetrated on February 25 and March 18, 2023 designed to suppress voter turnout, disenfranchise voters through violence and intimidation and illegally influence election results through the deliberate destruction of voting materials and polling units.
It said: “We are also troubled by the inflammatory rhetoric of those who sought to influence voters through hate speech.

“Elections can and should be fiercely contested but fairly, within the law and accepted practice. The images and videos of violence, hateful speech and election officials in compromising positions dent Nigeria’s image in the international community and most importantly sow seeds of disaffection and disunity amongst us.

“It is in that vein that GoNigeria recognises and commends the committed and honest Nigerians across the election ecosystem who withstood pressure and intimidation in the execution of their responsibilities. To the many who went out of their way to make it easier for people to vote and to protect their votes we also acknowledge and thank you all as inspiring examples of who we are and can be.

“We also commend Nigerians aged 18 to 34 who answered the call to register, collect their Permanent Voter Card and participate in the elections. You constituted the highest number of new registrations at 6.70M of 9.46M (i.e. 70.8% ) and we urge you to not despair about the election process and results but to remain steadfast and committed to pursuing a legitimate path to the Nigeria we all desire.’’

The body urged that:
That all Nigerians, regardless of provocation, shun all acts of violence and follow due process and the rule of law in their pursuit for justice.

That the Nigerian judicial system, which remains the last resort for restoring confidence in the electoral process and correcting injustices, hear the calls for justice and discharges its duties without fear or favour.

That duty bearers, particularly state security and prosecutors, address the high level of hate speech threatening the peace and our social cohesion. The promoters of religious and/or ethnic-based hate speech must be investigated, prosecuted and punished in line with the provisions of our laws in order to deter future promoters.

That allegation of malpractice and fraud by electoral officials on the national and state level be investigated and where appropriate, those found implicated prosecuted accordingly.

Finally, it said there is much room for improvement in our elections despite the laudable introductions to improve trust and credibility with Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) and INEC’s Result Viewing portal (IReV) and we encourage all Nigerians, in every way they can, to continue to demand the highest standards of equity and professionalism from duty bearers across all levels of government.

The 18 initial Advocates of the GoNigeria Movement are drawn from all the six geopolitical zones (three from each zone). They are: Atedo Peterside (Convener), ‘Yemi Adamolekun, Tomiwa Aladekomo, Osita Chidoka, Dike Chukwumerije, Folarin Falana (Falz), Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, Bishop Matthew Kukah, Hamzat Lawal, Nuruddeen Lemu, Ayisha Osori, Arunma Oteh, Muhammad Ali Pate, Dr. Tony Rapu, HH Muhammad Sanusi II, Dr. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, Ibrahim Dahiru Waziri and Aisha Yesufu.

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