By Augustine Ehikioya
For peace to reign in Nigeria, the President of the Alumni Association of the National Institute (AANI), former Inspector General of Police, Mohammed D. Abubakar, has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria, security agencies, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to intensify efforts towards a credible and violence-free election in all parts of the country.
According to a statement by the AANI’s National Publicity Secretary, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman (rtd), and made available to Security Watch Africa (SWA), the current fuel scarcity and cashless policy are compounding problems in the country few days to the elections.
It reads “The former IGP stated that AANI had noted with great concern that the prevailing economic difficulties in the country have been aggravated by additional tension occasioned by perennial fuel scarcity and cashless policy and must be addressed decisively ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“He said the government must ensure that an enabling environment is created for Nigerians in all parts of the country to freely exercise their franchise, adding that reliable elections and a smooth handover of power would strengthen Nigeria’s democracy and help it reach its full potential.
“The AANI president said the association condemns all forms of electoral malpractice, including intimidation, vote-buying and election violence.
“He urged all contestants for the various elective positions to eschew violence and money politics and uphold global best practices and focus on the issues of security, welfare, and economic prosperity of Nigerians, over and above personal and pecuniary interests.
“He also urged politicians to follow the rules and respect the results of elections and advised voters to choose candidates based on their skills and honesty rather than putting their children’s and grandchildren’s futures at risk for small sums of money or ephemeral items.
“He disclosed that, as part of its efforts to promote credible elections, AANI is poised to observe the forthcoming elections across the country.”
He assured in the statement that AANI will not be biased when it comes to watching elections and will do its job as a national organisation with the utmost dedication and impartiality, just like it did during the last elections.
“He recalled that AANI had held a national conference on national unity in September 2022, which came up with far-reaching recommendations for implementation by the government and other stakeholders, adding that the association is always available for partnership and further collaboration to enhance national unity and cohesion.”
The statement added “The Alumni Association of the National Institute (AANI) is the foremost national association of a diverse group of eminent Nigerian men and women that cut across professional, socio-cultural, economic, and political affiliations in the country who were trained on the rudiments of policy formulation and strategy and have been contributing to national development through our mission.
“To serve as a think tank to the government of Nigeria,” our vision, “To promote the noble ideas of a better society,” and the motto, “Towards a better society.
“It is the most important think tank for Nigeria’s federal, state, and local governments. It has been contributing objectively to the national conversation on many issues that affect Nigeria’s growth and development and give the government the right recommendations and implementation strategies,” it stated.