2019: Gowon, Joda, Kolade, Others Charges INEC And Political Candidates Ahead Of Rescheduled Elections
Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon Rtd., says the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC must be fully prepared to conduct the rescheduled elections seamlessly and efficiently in a manner that its outcome is adjudged by all to be free, fair and credible.
Briefing Journalist in Abuja, General Gowon who spoke on behalf of some concerned elders in the country said Political party leaders, candidates and their followers should conduct themselves with civility, decorum and restraint in both their words and deeds in the period leading up to, during and the aftermath of the elections.
In his words, “INEC can only achieve success if the contending parties regulate their behaviour and conduct in accordance with democratic norms and the law. We urge all participants to accept the final results announced by INEC and where parties feel aggrieved; recourse should be made to dispute resolution mechanisms prescribed by the constitution and the Electoral Act.”
Speaking on the different challenges confronting the nation, the former president said It is heart rending for elders to stand by and watch as the nation bleeds profusely and pretend that all is as well as it should be. The violent turn of expressions, deepened economic hardships and increasing desperation of the national polity has to be reversed to keep hope alive.
“ No matter how dimmed the eyesight of the elders are, our ears can still hear the pitiful cry of our grand and great grandchildren braving desert treks and other equally hazardous routes to escape the pain that Nigerian life has become. Neither are we ignorant of the sharp surge in drug abuse, prostitution, suicides and resurgence of ritual murders in the land. When you add the problems of the delta region, nefarious activities of boko haram, and the widespread violence arising from the grazing crisis due to pressure of increasing population on land which several Administrations have failed to deal with over the years, it becomes clear that our cherished nation is approaching a frontier it has never seen before.”
On the issue of insecurity bedevilling the land the elder Statesman said the concerns of the elders is the urgent and compelling need to address national security crisis which is at the risk of spiraling out of control.
He called for Presidential Proclamation of a national security emergency which should result in the establishment of a broad-based coalition of highly skilled and experienced stakeholders from all walks of life to ponder deeply on this grave crisis and complement the efforts of government in bringing the problem under firm control.
“We must emphasis the fact that most of our security problems are the direct by-products of our social and economic malaise which have been plaguing us for a long period of time. These issues are all interconnected and interdependent. Therefore, we take the view that the long-term resolution of our national security crisis must be seen through the broader lenses of taking bold and energetic steps to fast track the nation towards rapid economic and social progress. Such a social engineering and economic development agenda must reflect the need to rapidly diversify the underlying structure of our economy, focus heavily on the development of small and medium scale enterprises, build a modern world class infrastructure, implement major job creation initiatives, take concerted steps to eradicate poverty, promote gender equality, and invest heavily in education and health.”
The retired General said Beyond these advise and counsels, the group shall follow up with further consultations with all stake holders on a continuing basis to pursue wise, non-violent and non-partisan interventions towards the nation of our dreams.
Members of the group includes Gen. Dr. Yakubu Gowon, GCFR, Alhaji Ahmed Joda, Prof. Akin Mabogunje, NNOM, Dr Christopher Kolade, Elder Shyngle Wigwe, Prof. George Obiozor, Alhaji Mohammed Hayatu Deen, Prof. Jo Irukwu, SAN, Prof. Anya O. Anya, Alhaji Ahmed Mahmoud Yayale, Chief Folake Solanke, SAN, Prof. Frank Okoisor, Rev. Ladi Thompson andChief Philip C. Asiodu.