Igbo Elders’ Forum, Afenifere warn against imposition of interim govt
Eminent Nigerians from the Southeast, under the aegis of Igbo Elders’ Consultative Forum, have urged those plotting the idea of an interim government after President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure to bury the thought.
The Forum also warned Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against postponing the presidential election, slated for February 25, for whatever reason.
Chairman of the Forum, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, made the call at a briefing in Abuja, yesterday, amid reports that some politicians had asked the electoral body to consider postponing the election over scarcity of naira notes and petrol. Ezeife described the pressure being mounted on INEC as an invitation to anarchy, saying it is not only undemocratic but also outdated.
The former Anambra governor said: “The scheduled February 25, 2023 general elections should remain sacrosanct and take place as planned by INEC, and should not be postponed for whatever reasons as being canvassed by some dissidents and enemies of Nigeria, who are bent on truncating the democratic process by instituting an obnoxious interim government.
“The alleged interim government is not only undemocratic, anachronistic, mundane and authoritarian, but also repressive and intimidating, designed to truncate the will of the majority of Nigerians, who are eagerly looking forward to the rebirth of a new Nigeria through the election of a dynamic and creative president on February 25.”
He added: “The Forum fully endorses the resolution of the Southern and Middle Belt Forum to reject completely and resist the alleged planned imposition of an obnoxious interim government on the country by the enemies of Nigeria, who believe that the leadership of Nigeria is their birthright, despite unprecedented maladministration, poverty, hunger, rising unemployment, insecurity and hardships prevalent in the land.”
Personalities from the Southeast, who were present at the briefing, include: former chairman, Police Service Commission, Chief Simon Okeke; Senator Anthony Agbo; Chief Bob Ezeife; V.I.P. Okoye; Ambassador Ozo Nwobu; Elder Onyema Ugwunze; Ambassador Humphrey Orjiakor and Chike Okafor.
SIMILARLY, pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to resist any temptation or pressure to foist on the country any change of government that is not a product of democratic practice.
Afenifere disclosed this, yesterday, in a statement signed by National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi. Ajayi noted that the call was necessitated by a disclosure, wherein Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai said some elements within the Presidency were scheming to have Buhari foist an interim government on Nigerians.
El-Rufai, on a Channels Television’s programme, alleged that some elements in the Presidency are using the lingering fuel and naira scarcity to frustrate conduct of the elections because their preferred candidate is not in the race.
Afenifere maintained that its call is not necessarily in support of the Kaduna State governor or because of interest in any particular candidate.
The group said: “Rather, we are making this call because of the sacrifices we, along with many other Nigerians, dead and alive, have made to ensure that we have civil rule. We are happy that we have had about 24 years of civil rule and six transitions from one civilian administration to another since 1999.
“There is no doubt that we can have better administrations and that we are desirous of having a change. But that change must be through democratic means, as enshrined in our Constitution. Anything that could prompt the change of government through any other means is unacceptable.”
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