Connect with us

Politics

Breaking news happening now in Nigeria and todays latest newspaper headlines

Published

on


The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has urged political leaders to guard their utterances..

While warning against hate speech, the body noted that if not checked, it could lead to violence, even genocide in the country. 

Advertisement

In a statement Sunday, ACF Secretary General Murtala Aliyu lamented the alarming rate of tension and lawlessness as campaigns build up, saying “they could spread terror and fear across the country if unchecked. He however called on leaders at all levels to exercise restraint in their utterances to enable us have a peaceful election and transition to the next government.”

“Although Nigeria is already facing severe life threatening challenges arising from lack  of security  and  the  growing  economic  crises,  it  would  seem that there  are  many  desperate  political  leaders  and  other  self -appointed community  champions  that  will  not  hesitate  to  add  more  fuel  to  the  fire.

Advertisement

“Shamefully, most are driven by blind ambition or plain hatred. No one can fail  to notice  the  alarming  rise  of  tension  and  lawlessness  as the  election  campaigns  and  contests  gather  pace.  There are reports that some politicians are engaging thugs and violent  persons  to  attack  their opponents, spreading terror and fear  everywhere. Of much greater concern is the  resort to hate speech,  insults and threats of violence being  issued by the political leaders including by state governors.  

“They seem to be pathetically unaware  that  the  distance between  hate  speeches  and  violence,  even  genocide,  is  a  very  short  one. Hate speech, for whatever reason,  covers  many  forms  of  expression  but all incite,  promote  or  justify  hatred,  violence  and  discrimination  against  an individual  or  group  of  people.  It  poses  grave  danger  to  the  unity  and stability  of  a  democratic  society,  protection  of  human  rights  and  the  rule  of law.  Unchecked,  it  can  lead  to  acts  of  violence  and  conflict  on  a  grand scale.

Advertisement

“We were relieved to hear of Governor Samuel  Ortom’s apology  following  his  outburst  in  this  regard.  The  Governor’s  hostile comments  on  Atiku  Abubakar,  the  presidential  candidate  of  the  PDP, dominated  discussion  in  the  country  for  much  of  last  week. The  Electoral  Act  as  amended  and  for  good  reasons,  prescribed  heavy punishment  for  infractions such  as  this. The fact that  hate  speeches  and acts  of  violence  and  aggression  are  rife  in  this  campaign  season  can  only mean  that  the  laws  are  not  being  enforced.  

“This  hasn’t  come  as  a  surprise considering  the  fact  that  the  National  Assembly  has  so  far  chosen  not  to enact  the  law  that  will see to the  birth of  the Electoral  Offences Tribunal.  

Advertisement

“INEC  has  a  responsibility  to  act  and  enforce  the  Electoral Act  as  amended. It  should  impose  the  harshest  punishment  possible  on politicians  who  think  achieving  their  personal  ambitions  is  more  important than  national  peace  and  harmony.  Such  persons  are  unfit  for  any  form  of leadership  at  whatever  level.”

Tinubu on INEC statement

Advertisement

Meanwhile, the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju  Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has accused  two leading opposition parties of masterminding the fake press statement credited to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against him.

Tinubu said the forged statement purportedly issued by INEC was disseminated to deceive the gullible public that INEC was investigating allegations of drug trafficking in the United States of America (USA) against him that, they desperately hoped, will ultimately lead to his disqualification from the presidential race.

Advertisement

INEC had issued a counter statement denying an earlier one which went viral at the weekend.

But reacting to the development through a statement signed Sunday in Abuja by the Director, Media and Publicity of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Bayo Onanuga, Tinubu called on the police to investigate the circulation of the forged INEC statement and serve justice to those responsible.

Advertisement

The statement  said the two top parties “having realised they have no sure path to victory in the February 2023 presidential election upped their campaign of calumny, disinformation and misinformation on Saturday by sponsoring fake news against the All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. 

“They did it by forging the letterhead of the Independent National Electoral Commission and the signature of its national commissioner, Festus Okoye.

Advertisement

“We are not in any way surprised by the antics of the sinking opposition parties. What we found shocking was how quickly some compromised media organisations gulped the falsehood, hook, line and sinker, without attempting to verify.

“We understand why they did so: the forgery and its narrative fit their mindset of throwing overboard every known virtue of ethical journalism and professionalism, as they work in cahoots with the opposition to defame Asiwaju Tinubu. 

Advertisement

“This inglorious path has been taken before since 2003 and in the run-up to the primaries of the ruling APC that produced Asiwaju Tinubu as the presidential torch bearer. Those who took this damned path of infamy lost their bet because Asiwaju Tinubu stands rock solid and indestructible. 

“Our candidate has consistently said he will make this campaign about issues that affect the lives of Nigerians and how to proffer workable and enduring solutions that will improve quality of life of our people who are looking for leaders at all levels to improve their lives and sow the seeds of prosperity in our country. 

Advertisement

“He has demonstrated this resolve by publishing an 80-page manifesto tagged Action Plan for a Better Nigeria, which he has been selling to strategic sectoral groups in the country.

“We had hoped anyone aspiring to lead our country at this time will be a natural subscriber to this noble and higher goal. 

Advertisement

“It is clear the opposition parties and purveyors o3to make this election cycle more about muckraking and mudslinging.”

While warning those he called agents of disinformation, the statement said: “That our campaign organisation stands ready to confront and fight all libelous and defamatory publications against Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. 

Advertisement

“We shall no longer allow the prevailing recklessness and utter disregard for professional judgment to continue unchallenged. 

“We also call on the police to investigate the circulation of the forged INEC statement and serve justice to those responsible.”

Advertisement

 Okechukwu on PDP crisis

In a related development, Director-General of Voice of Nigeria Osita Okechukwu has said that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s move to reconcile with Governor Nyesom Wike’s group in the Peoples Democratic Party is belated.

Advertisement

Okechukwu said this when he responded to a statement by Atiku that the ruling APC was a contraption of Bola Tinubu’s party, Action Congress of Nigeria, and  President Muhammadu Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change.

He claimed the ‘contraption’ would collapse after its defeat in the 2023 general election.

Advertisement

In a statement in Abuja titled, “Atiku’s attempt to reconcile with Wike-G-5 -Masquerade is belated by headwinds”, the APC chieftain described Atiku’s statement as hallucination and medicine after death.

Replying the former VP on his claim that the APC would lose, he said:  “Is it not an express loss of memory for His Excellency who was a member of the new PDP that joined in the formation of the APC, to attempt to rewrite history in pursuit of his presidential ambition?”

Advertisement

Okechukwu said it would be unfair and unpatriotic to the southern part of the country for any northerner to think of presiding over the country after the tenure of Buhari, a fellow northerner, in May 2023.

“This is one of the major headwinds that are blocking his puerile reconciliation with Wike-G-5-Masquerade. Atiku is a foremost beneficiary of the rotation convention in 2018, during the PDP’s presidential primary in Port Harcourt, which Wike hosted. It’s trite law that he who comes to equity will come with clean hands,” he said.

Advertisement

On PDP crisis, he said: “How can he wage a proxy political war against the Bauchi governor? News filtered that Atiku questioned his temerity not to step down like Governor Aminu Tambuwal. This is one of the headwinds which will make reconciliation impossible.

“Thus the movement of the Wike-G-5-Masquerade northwards is afloat, obviously sounding the death knell for Atiku’s ambition.

Advertisement

“Methinks Wike-G-5-Masquerade, which is frantically chasing Atiku because of his infidelity to the south and the PDP constitution, which is the breach of power rotation between north and south; is driving him into a state of delusion. For the other day, in Arewa Summit, he admonished the north not to vote for Yoruba or Igbo, an unpresidential goof and, in the present instance, distorting the genesis and capacity of the APC.”

“Ironically, whilst Atiku is de-marketing the APC as if he has no baggage, the Wike-G-5’s masquerade is extending its fangs northwards the unintended consequence is definitely erosion of Atiku’s victory.

Advertisement

“If Atiku cannot unite his party, curb Peter Obi’s widespread erosion of PDP’s support base nationwide and design how to pick the remaining votes from Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso’s dominance in Kano, how can he win?” the party chieftain further added.

Advertisement

Trending

X