The Federal Government has released a statement urging former President Olusegun Obasanjo not to interfere with the 2023 General Elections with his recent letter on the elections. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, expressed his shock and disbelief that a former President could spread unverified claims and amplify wild allegations against the electoral process. He argued that Obasanjo is a known partisan who is trying to undermine the electoral process and incite violence. Mohammed also reminded Obasanjo that he organized perhaps the worst election in Nigeria’s history during his tenure and, therefore, is not qualified to advise a President who is working towards free, fair, credible, and transparent elections.
The Minister highlighted that the whole nation is waiting for the result of the national elections amid unnecessary tension created by professional complainants and political jesters. Therefore, he expected an unbiased and concerned elder statesman like Obasanjo to use his words and actions to reduce tension and serve as a soothing balm. Instead, Obasanjo used his unsolicited letter to insinuate, or perhaps wish for, an inconclusive election and a descent into anarchy. The Minister noted that this is duplicitous, and Obasanjo is trying to dress his personal choice in the garb of the people’s choice.
The Minister reminded Obasanjo that organizing elections in Nigeria is not a mean feat, considering the large voter population and the logistical nightmare of sending election materials across the vast country. He acknowledged that 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, the Minister called on those arrogating to themselves the power to cancel an election and unilaterally fix a date for a new one to exercise restraint and allow the official electoral body to conclude its duty by announcing the results of the 2023 national elections.
Finally, the Minister stated that anyone who is aggrieved must follow the stipulated legal process put in place to adjudicate electoral disputes instead of threatening fire and conjuring an apocalypse. The post was signed by Segun Adeyemi, the Special Assistant to the President (Media), Office of the Minister of Information and Culture in Abuja on 28th February 2023.
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