Muslim groups task INEC, others on credible polls
Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN) and the Network for Democracy and Development (NDD) have charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct credible elections.The federal elections previously slated for Saturday, February 16, was shifted to February 23 by INEC, while the state elections will hold on March 9.
Stakeholders, including government and political parties, have condemned the shift, which was announced in the morning of February 16, proposed election day. In a statement made available to The Guardian, executive secretary and chief executive officer of MUSWEN, Prof. Dawud Noibi, called on Nigerians to vote peacefully during the presidential and national assembly elections on Saturday.
“We need to remind ourselves that it is only in an atmosphere of peace that the electorate can exercise their right to vote for candidates of their choice and the votes truly count.“We all have a duty to make the elections a positive milestone in the nation’s progress, and not a step backwards. We must, therefore, make sure that the elections are free, fair, peaceful, violence-free and credible,” he said.
He, however, appealed to Muslims to pray for peaceful elections, urging the Imams to admonish their congregations on the need to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner before, during and after the elections.
Similarly, national coordinator of NDD, Tajudeen Alabede, and the director of strategy, Abdul-Wasi Moshood, in a statement, appealed to the international community and election observers to remain impartial, respect the nation’s sovereignty and play their roles within global best practices.
“International observers should divest themselves of any particular mindset or extraneous considerations, but be strictly guided by the fundamental principle of objectivity, neutrality and independent assessment of events.
“We call on the media to act as unbiased and patriotic witnesses to the events around the elections and report events accurately and conscientiously. The media must serve as purveyor of truth and realise the enormity of its influence on the society. In this era of social media characterised by unrestrained eye-witness reportage, we must all eschew the criminal act of spreading fake news,” they stated.
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