The Forum of Elders and Leaders in Nigeria has appealed to both the legislative and executive arms of government to shun the temptation of putting their partisan consideration above national interest and restore sanctity to the country.
The elders expressed fears that the forthcoming elections might be at jeopardy if critical steps were not taken to address glaring issues.
The forum made the call in a communique signed by Leader of Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark; Convener, Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Prof. Ango Abdullahi; Leader, Afenifere Socio-Cultural Group, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo and President, Middle Belt Forum, Dr. Pogu Bitrus.
According to them, these issues might pose grave challenges to the conduct of the elections and the desire for a free, fair and credible exercise in 2019.
They, therefore, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly to resolve all matters related to the funding of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the national interest.
They also urged the politicians to demonstrate the highest level of maturity and responsibility in concluding all matters related to the amendment of the Electoral Act, adding that the President should not withhold further assent even when the National Assembly must have addressed his concerns.
The elders, who expressed concern that unhealthy partisan interests may threaten an orderly and responsible operation of the National Assembly when it reconvenes after its current recess, said: “Critical legislative activities, such as approval of the funding requirement of INEC and the Electoral Act are therefore at threat of smooth and orderly election.
Legislative activities require very high level of discipline and commitment to the nation’s interest for their proper and timely conclusion.”
“Nigerians are closely following these trends and will not tolerate untoward act by any politician who puts the forthcoming election in jeopardy in the name of partisan or personal advantages.”