I Am Change, a civil society organisation (CSO), has called on the judiciary not to compromise the presidential election tribunal process.
Hafsatu Shinkafi, founder of the organisation, in a statement on Monday, commended security agencies for the peaceful conduct during the February 25 polls in the country.
“The long-awaited Nigerian Presidential Election conducted on the 25th February 2023 has come to an end. As with all electoral, and indeed every political and democratic process, this election has ushered in varied perspectives, opinions, and dispositions among Nigerians,” the statement reads.
“You may recall that I Am Change had organized a pre-election conference entitled 2023 Elections: Citizens’ Pre-Election Awareness and the Role of Stakeholders in Post-Election Stability on 26th January 2023, where major stakeholders, including INEC, Civil Society, Judiciary, the Media, Politicians, and Security experts discussed extensively, the preparations, sociopolitical atmosphere, and post-election issues.
“From the discussions at the conference, it’s widely agreed that INEC was sufficiently prepared for the elections, while the security agencies did not shy away from indicating their readiness to protect Nigerians during and after the elections.
“As pointed out by legal experts, it was very likely that electoral results would end up being debated in the courtrooms, making the judiciary the final arbiters in the whole process. The electoral processes were largely peaceful, thanks to the gallant security agencies, despite a number of protests that followed the announcement of the results.
“The conduct of the aggrieved politicians has also been commendable as they have shown their intention to seek redress at the courts instead of resorting to violence. This is equally commendable in a democracy.
“The news that the winning party has sought the cooperation of the opposition parties in an attempt to form a government of national unity and give the country a common political cause is deeply thoughtful and an important step towards healing the wounds, advancing national cohesion and promoting political progress of the country.
“Given the charged political situation, we deem it fit to call on all Nigerians to exercise restraint and stay calm, and all aggrieved politicians to approach the courts and not take the laws into their hands. The judicial system, empowered by the 2022 Electoral Act is well-positioned to ensure justice and fairness to all Nigerians.
“We call on the judiciary to not compromise the system and to allow the law to take its natural course.
“Finally, we advise those who won to be magnanimous in victory and to all those who lost to accept their fate and support the winners to build our country. The whole process is about the stability and prosperity of Nigeria.”
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