Political parties, under the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), have warned against any plot by those it called “anti-democratic forces” to remove the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, from office over alleged false assets declaration a few weeks to the general election.
IPAC gave the warning through its National Chairman Yabagi Sani at the end of an emergency General Assembly meeting on Monday in Abuja.
The parties at the meeting discussed crucial national issues and evaluated emerging threats to the 2023 general election.
IPAC, which is the umbrella body of 18 registered political parties in the country, reaffirmed its confidence in Prof. Yakubu-led INEC to conduct the 2023 general election.
The parties also backed the decision of the commission to deploy the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for the polls.
Speaking through IPAC National Secretary Yusuf Dantalle, the chairman hailed the judgment of Justice Maryam Hassan, which quashed the allegations of false assets declaration against Yakubu.
Sani said: “It is victory for democracy, due process and the rule of law. Again, the grand plots to derail the ongoing electoral process, create a constitutional crisis, political upheavals and quagmire has been aborted. Nigerians will not tolerate a repeat of the infamous June 12, 1993 presidential election impasse.
“IPAC commends the Judiciary for upholding the rule of law as the temple of justice and beacon of hope for all aggrieved people. Council applauds this landmark judgment that quashed frivolous, spurious, unsubstantiated, wide and baseless allegations against Professor Mahmood Yakubu by political hirelings and their sponsors who are afraid of free and fair elections and want the status quo to remain. The Judiciary should remain steadfast, decisive, firm and unwavering in the discharge of its constitutional duties as the last hope of the common man.”
“IPAC warns these reactionary forces to desist from their plots to truncate the nation’s emerging democracy. National interest supersedes primordial interests. Council will resist any attempt to jeopardise the ongoing electoral process that will deepen and strengthen our civil rule. All patriotic Nigerians are in support of INEC’s efforts to sanitise the nation’s electoral process and conduct credible elections that will reflect the will and mandate of the people.”
“The era of election rigging, vote-buying, ballot snatching and stuffing and falsification of results is over as we collectively take steps to protect and defend our hard-earned democracy since May 29, 1999. This time, every vote must be counted and count in the overall result. We must get it right and move the nation forward in the quest for sustainable democracy in Nigeria.”
The political parties also expressed deep concern about the level of insecurity in the country, spreading in most of the states.
They accused some governors of using sponsored taut to stop and destroy campaign materials and party offices of opposition political parties in their states.
Sani said: “Therefore, the Council urges security agents to be proactive and ensure adequate protection of lives and property before, during and after the elections. The heightened politically motivated killings and attacks are worrisome and should stop immediately for citizens to discharge their civic duties.
“Security agents should fish out the perpetrators of these heinous crimes and their sponsors to face justice. The need for enhanced intelligence gathering, sharing and utilisation amongst security agencies to curb acts of political violence cannot be overemphasised in this crucial general election that will redefine the destiny of the nation…”