….Governors hindering our campaign — Alkali
The National Chairman of the New Nigerian Peoples Party, Ahmed Alkali, has said the security threat to the forthcoming 2023 elections is real.
Alkali made the revelation on Wednesday while speaking to journalists at his party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
However, he noted that the NNPP was convinced that the Independent National Electoral Commission was fully prepared for the conduct of the general elections as scheduled.
Speaking on the alarm raised by a National Commissioner of INEC, Prof. Abdullahi Zuru, on rising insecurity challenges which could undermine the conduct of the elections, Alkali said, “We’re aware that some foreign nations raised security alarms. We don’t know what they know, but they didn’t share what they know with the Federal Government; that of course was enough to raise tension.
“But they should also have announced their return the way they announced their exit. However, no matter the circumstances, there must be a new government in 2023. Therefore, both INEC and the leadership of political parties must work towards that.
“We know INEC doesn’t talk anyhow to have said this at this critical time, there must be a reason.
“We also know that the CBN Governor also changed the currency of Nigeria. Maybe the intention was right, but the timing is wrong; we don’t know what they want to achieve but that is a sufficient reason to undermine the election.
“Also, political parties signed an agreement under the National Peace Committee and we all agreed to conduct our campaigns, peacefully.
“But you are aware of the development since INEC announced that parties can kick start their campaigns. Governors aren’t allowing the opposition to campaign in some states. In Borno, they removed the billboards of our governorship candidate.
“When our presidential candidate was to go to Maiduguri, the APC government in the state shut down our office. You have seen a serving minister saying they have money to win elections, that’s intimidation.
“You can also hear people asking for the removal of the INEC chairman. Once you do that, the whole process is disrupted.
“I haven’t even mentioned security threats to INEC offices and even their personnel.
“But we are sure the security forces have the capacity to stop all these threats to conduct the election.”
Speaking on court cases involving NNPP candidates, Alkali appealed to the judiciary to speedily attend to their cases while urging its candidates to continue with their campaigns.
He said, “For all those whose names have been approved by the courts, we urge INEC to take appropriate action.
“Our party has benefitted immensely from the sound judgements of the Federal High Courts and the Appellate Court which were delivered with dispatch in spite of the court’s crowded dockets
“The NNPP wishes to use this medium to express our appreciation and gratitude to the Nigerian judiciary for being the last bastion of hope for the people and a pillar of democracy and democratic processes, particularly leading to the general elections.”