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Obasanjo partsian, bent on thwarting choice of Nigerian voters —Nigerian govt



The recent appeal by former President Olusegun Obasanjo calling for cancellation of results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the ground that the polls were reportedly marred by irregularities in some areas, has elicited a reaction from the Nigerian government.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in a statement issued on Tuesday, urged the former President not to truncate the 2023 general elections.

Obasanjo had in a letter tagged “2023 Nigeria Presidential Election: An Appeal For Caution and Rectification,” and addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, urged the president to avert looming danger by ordering the cancellation of results in all elections that failed integrity test.

He also asked the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to save Nigeria from a disaster waiting to happen.

Reacting, Muhammed described Obasanjo as a partsian statesman whose intention was to thwart the will of the people, insisting the letter was a framed appeal targeted at inciting violence in the country.

The Minister also accused the former President of conducting “perhaps the worse elections” since Nigeria’s return to democrary in 1999, adding he was not qualified to advise the President as well as the electoral umpire.

The statement read: “As the whole nation waits with bated breath for the result of last Saturday’s national elections, amid unnecessary tension created by professional complainants and political jesters, what is expected from a self-respecting elder statesman are words and actions that douse tension and serve as a soothing balm.

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“Instead, former President Obasanjo used his unsolicited letter to insinuate, or perhaps wish for, an inconclusive election and a descent into anarchy; used his time to cast aspersion on electoral officials who are unable to defend themselves, while surreptitiously seeking to dress his personal choice in the garb of the people’s choice. This is duplicitous.

“Though masquerading as an unbiased and concerned elder statesman, former President Obasanjo is a known partisan bent on thwarting, by subterfuge, the choice of millions of Nigerian voters.

“With a deployment of over 1,265,227 electoral officials, the infusion of technology to enhance the electoral process, and the logistical nightmare of sending election materials across our vast country, INEC seems to be availing itself creditably, going by the preliminary reports of the ECOWAS Electoral Observation Mission and the Commonwealth Observer Group, among other groups that observed the election.

“Therefore, those arrogating to themselves the power to cancel an election and unilaterally fix a date for a new one, ostensibly to ameliorate perceived electoral infractions, should please exercise restraint and allow the official electoral body to conclude its duty by announcing the results of the 2023 national elections.

“After that, anyone who is aggrieved must follow the stipulated legal process put in place to adjudicate electoral disputes, instead of threatening fire and conjuring apocalypse.”

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