On Tuesday, a group of protesters led by the Free Nigeria Movement (FNM) called on President Muhammadu Buhari to call off the February 25 presidential election and form an interim government while a new election is held.
The group also demanded that Prof Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), be arrested and charged immediately for allegedly supervising a “fraudulent presidential election.”
They made the demand at the INEC headquarters in Abuja during a protest.
The FNM’s convener, Moses Ogidi-Paul, spoke on their behalf, expressing their displeasure with the conduct of the February 25 presidential election.
“On the 25th of February, 2023, Nigerians trooped to their polling units with one mission in mind,
to cast their ballots and choose their next leaders.
“Our binding lines were unbroken: in ideology, they held us together; in trust, they washed us like water; in truth, they kept us alive. We lived the full range of what it means to be a citizen in a progressive secular society.
So, when the big day arrived, we knew in our hearts, the part of us that always questions truths, that our votes had to count. Nothing, however, could strengthen our faith more than the assurances of President Muhammadu Buhari and INEC Chairman Prof Yakubu Mahmoud.
“Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2022 a little more than a year ago.” The excitement that greeted that addition deserves to be recognized.
because of its unwavering devotion to the Nigerian spirit. We were neither Igbo, Hausa, nor Yoruba on that day. We weren’t like Efik, Tiv, or Urhobo. We were neither Gbagyi, Kanuri, nor Ijaw. On that day, we were Nigerians brimming with the positive energies of our country.
“I’m sorry to say that today, all of this has gone to waste in the hearts of some. You’ve probably seen the video of the diasporan who ripped his passport. Because INEC, through Prof. Yakubu Mahmoud, chose to silence their voice, some other Nigerians have done the same to the fabric of identity.
“So I ask, “What is the value of democracy if the process that recruits people is corrupt?”
its leaders are consistently untrustworthy?” Perhaps the answer can be found at the International Conference Center, where Prof Yakubu Mahmoud began, sustained, and concluded the collation and declaration of a candidate as the winner of the presidential election based on falsehood, in violation of the International Conference Center’s guidelines and the Electoral Act.
“It’s particularly disturbing that this was done in full view of the world. Never before has any citizen in public or private service abused our democracy so severely. Prof. Yakubu Mahmoud has set a precedent for impunity that will take years of electoral excellence to correct.
“This was not the electronic transmission that he promised Nigerians and the rest of the world at Chatham House. Prof. Yakubu Mahmoud lied to Nigerians and violated our rights.
“We vote no confidence in him and demand his immediate dismissal and prosecution.” We cannot afford to maintain a culture of lawlessness without consequences. We are as tall as our institutions and as strong as our laws. We simply cannot afford to go any lower.
“As a result, we urge President Muhammadu Buhari, whose commitment to free and fair elections is etched in the legacy of the Electoral Act 2022, to initiate processes and procedures that will place Nigeria under the control of an interim government pending the resolution of all litigations pertaining to the Electoral Act 2022.”