THE Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has issued a warning to anyone attempting to obstruct the peaceful transfer of power to a new administration and the holding of fair elections.
NEF stated that it had taken into account the challenging circumstances that Northerners and other Nigerians today face, as well as worries around the security of the elections that will take place in February and March of this year.
The Elders noted in a statement released by the NEF’s Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, that there are rumblings that suggest it’s possible the elections won’t take place and that Nigerians may instead be subjected to some sort of unconstitutional device after May of this year.
According to NEF, those spreading the rumors, highlight the nearly hopeless conditions in which Nigerians are forced to live.
“They suggest that difficulties simultaneously imposed by insecurity, crushing inflation, fuel scarcity, exchange of old for new currency notes and others which affect particularly poor Nigerians are deliberately contrived to inflame passions and trigger unrest which may poison the election environment or threaten its conduct.
“The Forum has no basis to support these conjectures. Nonetheless, it warns against any attempts to interfere with the conduct of credible elections and a peaceful transition to a new administration.
“The severe economic and social difficulties under which Nigerians live are indeed threats to peace and security. Solution must be found to improve the security of the citizen and the state. Fuel shortage can and must be eliminated immediately.
“The currency swap programme has not worked as planned, and it is strangulating economies, communities and the patience of the citizen. It should be revisited, particularly around its timelines and operations of the CBN and banks.
“Whatever its benefits, it cannot be of value if it destroys many aspects of the economy, or alienates already hard-pressed citizens further. The Forum advises a postponement of its deadlines and a major review of the utility of the continued stay of the leadership of the CBN in place.
“The Forum warns that Nigerians will not accept to live under any arrangement that offends the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the statement noted.