“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“ – FG
The federal government on Tuesday reacted harshly to the call by former president Olusegun Obasanjo that the just concluded presidential election be cancelled on the ground that the process had been compromised.
Information and Culture minister, Lai Mohammed described the called as a “duplicitous” statement by a supposedly “elder statesman” whose words and actions should be a “soothing balm” that should calm frayed nerves. He therefore advised the former President not to “truncate” the ongoing electoral process.
Recall that Dino Melaye, PDP’s agent, had on Monday walked out of the collation centre alongside Labour Party’s representatives and some other parties.
The group pulled out of the exercise after insisting that results uploaded to the portal of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must be displayed before the exercise could continue.
On Monday, Obasanjo said elections that have been marred with irregularities should be rescheduled.
In a statement on Tuesday, Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, said Obasanjo presided over the worst elections since Nigeria returned to Democracy in 1999.
Mohammed said the former president is not in the position to counsel President Muhammadu Buhari on elections.
“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.
“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.
“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 election.
“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.”
The minister said anyone who is aggrieved with the election results should approach the tribunal.