The Nigeria Interreligious Council on Tuesday dismissed fears in certain quarters that the 2023 elections may make or mar the country.
Rather, NIREC, under the joint leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, expressed optimism that with the collective action of critical stakeholders and the people, a national rebirth for Nigeria could happen after the election.
The NIREC co-chairmen dismissed the fears in Abuja during its 4th quarterly meeting with the theme, “Peaceful and credible elections for national renaissance.”
At the event, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, assured stakeholders that the elections would be conducted peacefully and credibly.
Abubakar said, “A lot of people made comments about the 2023 elections as a make-or-break election for Nigeria, and I don’t believe in that. I refuse to believe that. The forthcoming polls are just an election in which people will go out, cast their votes in peace, and then whoever emerges as the winner, as the Almighty Allah decided, will be the leader of this country and the states where we all come from. I don’t believe it’s a make-or-break election.
“We should not and must not play into the hands of those enemies of Nigeria who keep on parading or bringing up such issues.”
The CAN President said the ugly history of pre- or post-electoral violence would not be repeated in 2023 if all critical stakeholders decide to halt the trend through a strategic conversation that appeals to the conscience of the political class.
Okoh said, “Even people with no coherent political ideology or development agenda of any kind also engage in do-or-die politics.” The other issue is the lack of transparency in the electoral process and the ungodly alliance of some security agents with the political class to subvert the process and confer an undue advantage on one political party against the others.