2023 Election Results: Obasanjo Trying to Instigate Violence—Shettima

February 28, 2023

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been knocked by the National President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Mr Yerima Shettima, over his letter condemning the 2023 presidential election results.

In a letter released on Monday evening, Mr Obasanjo asked President Muhammadu Buhari to address the nation on the irregularities observed in the exercise conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

There had been calls for INEC to suspend the coalition of results from the presidential election carried out on Saturday, February 25, 2023.

But in a response on Tuesday morning, Mr Shettima carpeted the former Nigerian leader, claiming he does not have the moral standing to even advise the nation owing to his antecedents.

The group accused Mr Obasanjo of trying to instigate violence, saying the former president’s position did not show him as a statesman and should be disregarded. AYCF also advised him to learn from other former presidents who have remained true statesmen.

“Our attention has been drawn to viral news in which otherwise elder statesmen are working hand-in-hand with politicians who are afraid of defeat in the 2023 elections to overheat the polity and eventually destabilize this nation.

“We are appalled by the level of incendiary comments, designed to deliberately ignite violence in the name of promoting free and fair elections.

“Consequent upon this emerging threat, we wish to state for the records that:-

“We have had enough of mindless killings in defence of the personal interest of grabbing power by any politician through the back door. We don’t support any resort to sponsored violence and arson in this country just because some politicians are trying to mislead our youth to assume their personal political interest amounts to the national interest.

“We wish to implore Nigerian youths never to allow themselves to be used as cannon fodder for unpatriotic elements, who are masquerading as democrats.

“We are watching very closely the activities of agent provocateurs, operating from the shadows, with the sole aim of creating regional and religious sentimentalism, meant to lead to massive killings of innocent souls in the name of politics. Let anyone not be deceived by their strategy against national unity and cohesion, the two important pillars of peace and brotherhood in today’s Nigeria.

“We were taken aback by the so-called letter of former President Obasanjo, making provocative statements, in his usual manner of pretending to be addressing our current challenges in the 2023 elections.

“It is worrisome that the former President is often the only one taking dangerous, narrow-minded stance on any political situation in Nigeria. We have had his contemporaries like General Ibrahim Babangida, General Abdussalam Abubakar — who is now one of the most outstanding, exemplary promoters of national peace and stability.

“We should not forget that apart from the historic move to keep Nigeria one, when the nation was on cliff-hanger, General Yakubu Gowon will forever be remembered as the champion of national prayers for peace and stability.

“Another elder statesman of respectable standing is former President Goodluck Jonathan, the youngest of them all, who has maintained his respect by not being openly partisan.

“Many Nigerians would have by now been disappointed by former President Obasanjo’s decidedly partisan activities. From his Third Term Agenda that we Nigerians all fought against to a long list of “Letters” that have lacked the power to positively change anything, the man is slowly losing his elder statesman status. He is on record for identifying with a candidate for a national election and offered to be the prime mover of what has now become a destabilizing political aspiration of his proxy in the 2023 elections. This unstatesmanly imposition is unfortunate.

“We call on all Nigerians of good conscience to intervene in the concerted efforts to promote national peace and stability, especially in this cooling-off period of general elections. We cannot afford to compromise on the ligaments binding us together in brotherhood and nationhood after 60 years of independence.

“The current democracy would not have been possible without the massive contribution of the youth and we will not fold our arms and watch selfish interests deployed in using the same youth to truncate democracy and destroy the flowering of our National ethos.

“We, therefore, warn again that Nigeria is not a banana republic,” the statement said.

Aduragbemi Omiyale

Aduragbemi Omiyale is a journalist with Business Post Nigeria, who has passion for news writing. In her leisure time, she loves to read.

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