The Coalition for A Better Nigeria, also known as the June 12 Veteran Activists, has issued a caution against election violence and electoral manipulation in the upcoming gubernatorial elections in Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa states, which have been scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to take place on Saturday, November 11, 2023.
This warning was conveyed in a statement released on a Saturday and signed by Comrade Awa Bamiji, the National Coordinator of the Coalition, and subsequently forwarded to P.M.NEWS in Lagos.
The organization extended its congratulations to its numerous members, both within and outside Nigeria, for their remarkable achievements during an unprecedented two-month vigil at the Unity Fountain Square in Abuja. This vigil was conducted to advocate for a successful transition to President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu when there were concerns of a potential plot by anti-democratic elements to disrupt the process.
The Coalition called on the electorate in the three aforementioned states to adhere to democratic principles and maintain a peaceful demeanor to ensure the people’s wishes are upheld.
The statement emphasized the organization’s commitment to safeguarding the mandate of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and their prior peaceful protests against calls for election annulment and the establishment of an interim government by disgruntled opposition parties ahead of the May 29, 2023, presidential inauguration.
The Coalition also highlighted the significance of closely monitoring the upcoming gubernatorial elections in Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa states. It particularly noted that of the three states, only Bayelsa is under PDP control, despite Chief David Lyon of the APC initially winning the state during the last gubernatorial election. However, a Supreme Court ruling later granted victory to the incumbent Governor, Duoye Diri, of the PDP, due to discrepancies in the credentials of the APC’s gubernatorial running mate, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.
The Coalition’s interpretation of the situation was that the state still belongs to the APC, considering the strength of the electorate as the ultimate decision-makers in determining the outcome of a free and fair election.
The Coalition called on the electorate to participate in large numbers, cast their votes without bias, and urged political thugs, election riggers, unknown gunmen, and individuals with ill intentions within the INEC and security agencies to stay away from these three states during the elections. They warned that there would be no sanctuary for those who engage in misconduct.
The statement emphasized the Coalition’s extensive experience in monitoring elections in Nigeria over the past three decades and cautioned that the usual tactics, falsehoods, and propaganda of the opposition and enemies of democracy have consistently proven ineffective. The statement concluded with the words, “A word is enough for the wise.”