Presidential Election: Northern Group Commends INEC, Says Tinubu’s Victory Well Deserved
By: Femi Mustapha
Concerned Northern Forum, (CNF) has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) following what they termed as a transparent election that produced Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressive Congress, (APC) as president elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
CNF in a press conference held in Kaduna on Friday, through its spokesperson, Comrade Abdulsalam Mohamed Kazeem, said the 2023 presidential and National Assembly election was the most transparent, fair and credible poll in the history of Nigeria.
According to him, the integrity of INEC has been redeemed again, adding that those calling for the cancellation of the election results are enemies of Nigeria and should not be given any listening ear.
He said, “We want to first of all congratulate Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his well-deserved victory. As northerners, we are pleased with his victory and without being selfish want to identify and work with him when he’s eventually sworn in on the 29th of May, 2023 Inshallah.
“The fact that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, a northerner contested with Bola Tinubu under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and lost does not mean we should join other undemocratic groups and networks in the country to condemn and discredit one of the most credible elections in the history of Nigeria. We are more concerned with the progress of Nigeria and with Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a new Nigeria is possible.
“In a special way, we want to salute the courage and integrity of the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmud Yakubu for making history and delivering an impeccable election despite the aggressive work of saboteurs and enemies of democracy in Nigeria.
“Despite widespread fears bothering on insecurity and kidnappings and against the judgment of many analysts that elections will not hold in many parts of the country, INEC under Mahmoud Yakubu delivered a world class election all over the country including flashpoints of violent extremism and terrorism such as Borno and Zamfara states.
“Similarly, about seven (7) serving Governors lost their senatorial elections. If the elections were not free and fair, then how come all the contesting political parties won in areas that were not their strongholds and even had elected representatives? Those hanging onto the issue surrounding the uploading of results on the INEC portal should note that the Electoral Act did not state that results should be uploaded in IReV, it was just part of INEC guidelines which cannot be seen to supersede a law. It wasn’t mandatory for INEC to upload the results on its portal as simple as that.
“Those calling for the cancellation of this election are enemies of Nigeria and must not be given a listening ear. Calling for the cancellation of an election that has been conducted in the most peaceful and orderly manner across the country is simply mischievous and a call for the abortion of democracy. This election is the best Nigeria ever had and cannot be compared to the 1993 or even 1999 elections. ” He said.
The group urged other contestants and their supporters to embrace the spirit of sportsmanship and congratulate Tinubu, pledging their loyalty to work with him for a better Nigeria.
“In the spirit of sportsmanship, those who have lost this election and their supporters should reach out and congratulate Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and pledge their loyalty to work with him for a better Nigeria. This is not the first time candidates will lose in an election. President Muhammadu Buhari lost elections in 2003, 2007 and 2011 before winning the 2015 Presidential election.
“Jonathan lost in 2015 without calling for the cancellation of the result. In fact, he immediately called and congratulated the president elect. As a true democrat, Senator Bola Tinubu in his magnanimity has reached out to Nigerians across all divides seeking their support to work together to salvage Nigeria. This is the time for those who have lost at the polls to queue behind the great leader to make Nigeria great.
“Instead of creating tensions and causing disaffection amongst Nigerians across tribal and political divides, we call on those who feel aggrieved to approach the law courts following the laid down procedures and lodge their case. Sponsoring protests and making inflammatory comments is unacceptable and a direct call for anarchy. As northerners and all other democratic societies across the nation are satisfied with the outcome and we don’t expect any candidate of northern extraction to delay our democracy by any needles legal battle over a clear victory that Nigerians are all satisfied with.
“As with all human setups, it will be a lie to deny that the human elements and technology employed in the conduct of elections all over the world are perfect. But as an African proverb says, you can’t throw away a baby with the bath water. We call on INEC to continue the good work they have already started by consistently working towards fixing the anomalies discovered in the past elections.
“The success gained through the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) should be sustained with the inclusion of other technologies such as Blockchain to keep hackers and other criminals away from tempering with the people’s mandate. To call for the cancellation of this election is to downplay the tireless efforts of the Commission and the resources expended so far to give Nigeria the best elections in Africa and the world at large.” Abdulsalam added.