Following the dissensions that have so far accompanied the announcement and declaration of the winners of the February 25, 2023 Presidential and National Assembly Elections in Nigeria by the country’s chief electoral arbiter, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a non-governmental organization, Conflict Prevention and Peace Building Initiative (CPPBI), has called on political parties, including their supporters, to thread with caution to avoid a catastrophic national crisis.
The organization’s position was made known via a press release on Monday, March 6, 2023, in Benin City, the Edo State capital. According to the statement, which was issued by the organization’s Executive Director, Comrade Jude Obuseh, and made available to newsmen, the growing disaffection in some sections of the public, in responses to the outcome of the polls, were capable of spiraling into internecine violence with its concomitant negative multiplier effects.
CPPBI’s ED called on the political class, INEC, state authorities the general public and all critical stakeholders to seek for peaceful solutions – through dialogue – to resolving the brewing crisis.
Excerpts of the statement read: “In the wake of the declaration of the results of the February 25, 2023 Presidential and National Assembly Elections, and the negative reactions that have emanated from some quarters, which have the likelihood of triggering unrest, we call on all aggrieved parties to give peace a chance. Care must be taken by all stakeholders to ensure that the issues arising from the conduct of the polls are not allowed to escalate into a destructive conflagration that would not bode well for the country.
“INEC must take the pains of expeditiously acknowledging and responding to the complaints raised by the aggrieved parties, as well as those emanating from some sections of the public, concerning its conduct of the polls. It must endeavor to use both its constitutional and discretionary powers to address the thorny issues so far raised by the aggrieved parties.
“We call on all the candidates opposed to the final results of the polls, as announced by INEC, to seek legal means for redressing whatever injustices they allegedly suffered at the polls. This is a constitutional right they should exploit, and is the best way going forward.
“The judiciary, the last hope of the common man, is enjoined to rise up to the occasion by ensuring that justice is served if the complainants are able to present verifiable evidence to prove their allegations beyond reasonable doubt. This is a rare opportunity for the judiciary to restore public confidence in its ability to dispense justice and defend the rights of the citizenry against abuse” the statement read.
There has been widespread disenchanted across the country following the outcome of the February 25, 2023 Presidential and National Assembly polls, following the declaration of the winners, which did not go down well with the losing candidates and their supporters. The country has been on edge since the announcement. However, some of the aggrieved candidates have vowed to approach the judiciary to reclaim their mandates. There is palpable fear across the country of the possibility of a major political crisis.
Conflict Prevention and Peace Building Initiative is a Nigerian based non-governmental organization committed to the prevention of conflicts in Nigeria and Africa.
See full Excerpts of Press Release: :.February 2023 Election Results: CPPBI Calls On Political Actors, Stakeholders, Others To Thread With Caution