The Federal Government has urged former President Olusegun Obasanjo
not to truncate the 2023 general elections with his inciting,
self-serving and provocative letter on the elections.
In a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister of Information and
Culture, Lai Mohammed, said what the former President cunningly
framed as an ‘appeal for caution and rectification’ is nothing but a
calculated attempt to undermine the electoral process and a willful
incitement to violence.
The Minister expressed shock and disbelief that a former President
could throw around unverified claims and amplify wild allegations
picked up from the street against the electoral process.
”Though masquerading as an unbiased and concerned elder statesman,
former President Obasanjo is in reality a known partisan who is bent
on thwarting, by subterfuge, the choice of millions of Nigerian
voters,” he said.
Mohammed recalled that the former President, in his time,
organized perhaps the worst election since Nigeria’s return to
democratic rule in 1999, hence he is the least qualified to advise a
President whose determined effort to leave a legacy of free, fair,
credible and transparent election is well acknowledged within and
”As the whole nation waits with bated breath for the result of last
Saturday’s national elections, amid unnecessary tension created by
professional complainants and political jesters, what is expected from
a self-respecting elder statesman are words and actions that douse
tension and serve as a soothing balm.
”Instead, former President Obasanjo used his unsolicited letter to
insinuate, or perhaps wish for, an inconclusive election and a descent
into anarchy; used his time to cast aspersion on electoral officials
who are unable to defend themselves, while surreptitiously seeking to
dress his personal choice in the garb of the people’s choice. This is
duplicitous,” he said.
The Minister reminded the former President that organizing elections
in Nigeria is not a mean feat, considering that the voter population
in the country is 16,742,916 more than the total number of registered
voters, at 76,726,092, in 14 West African nations put together.
”With a deployment of over 1,265,227 electoral officials, the
infusion of technology to enhance the electoral process and the
logistical nightmare of sending election materials across our vast
country, INEC seems to be availing itself creditably, going by the
preliminary reports of the ECOWAS Electoral Observation Mission and
the Commonwealth Observer Group, among other groups that observed the
”Therefore, those arrogating to themselves the power to cancel an
election and unilaterally fix a date for a new one, ostensibly to
ameliorate perceived electoral infractions, should please exercise
restraint and allow the official electoral body to conclude its duty
by announcing the results of the 2023 national elections.
”After that, anyone who is aggrieved must follow the stipulated legal
process put in place to adjudicate electoral disputes, instead of
threatening fire and conjuring apocalypse,” he said.