ASUU strike, insecurity, threats to 2023 elections – NCSSR
On Thursday, the Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room (NCSSR), a coalition of over 80 human rights organisations, warned that unresolved issues in security, economy, transportation, and education could pose a serious threat to a peaceful and credible general election in 2023.
According to the NCSSR, the situation could also create a tense political atmosphere, which disgruntled groups could use to disrupt the polls.
Eneh Obi, the Situation Room’s Convener, raised the issues during a press conference at the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre’s headquarters.
According to her, it was disappointing that there were obvious flaws in Nigeria’s security, economy, transportation, and education that remained largely unresolved.
Obi said that the Abuja – Kaduna bound train incident where passengers were abducted was still pending with the victims yet to regain freedom.
The activist said that other issues of concern including the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities which has lasted for more than three months and the continuous plummeting of the Naira against the dollar were disturbing signals against the election.
“Yet, the political appointees in these sectors appear focused on their future political ambitions thereby neglecting their key responsibilities which scorecards reveal that they have not performed maximally; a great disservice to Nigeria. These issues raise questions, yet nomination forms are being purchased while the nation and Nigerians suffer.
“It is pertinent to state that these actions can have a direct negative effect on the 2023 general elections and result in low voter turnout because young people and others making up the marginalised groups, did not have a chance at nominations and their state of mind due to the present situation of things in the country had been befouled.
“This could also create a tensed political atmosphere created by disgruntled groups who are underrepresented.
“Situation Room therefore calls on the Federal Government to address these concerns and create a democratic environment to ensure a free, fair credible and inclusive 2023 general elections”, Obi said.
The organisation expressed the hope that the government would enforce the May 16, 2022 deadline given to Ministers vying for elective office to resign.
“Violations to the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act 2022 are already ongoing. Situation Room notes that the belated directive for political appointees to resign contravenes Sections 66 (1)(f), 107 (1)(f), 137 (1)(g), 182 (1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution which stipulates that elected public officers, which include civil servants, who want to contest an election must have resigned their position at least 30 days to the date of the election. Political party primaries elections begin the electoral process for any candidate,” she said.
The group also called for the resignation of the Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele over rumours of his presidential ambition.