A group, Alumni Association of the National Institute (AANI), has expressed concern on the implications of the current naira and fuel scarcity to the forthcoming general elections across the country.
The President of the group and former Inspector General of Police, Muhammed D. Abubakar, in a statement today, February 14, said that the prevailing economic difficulties in the country have been aggravated by additional tension, occasioned by perennial fuel scarcity and cashless policy.
The statement, signed by the group’s National Publicity Secretary, retired Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, quoted M.D Abubakar as advising the government to find practical solutions to the challenges before the general elections.
He called on the government to ensure that an enabling environment is created for Nigerians in all parts of the country to freely exercise their franchise.
Abubakar stressed that reliable elections and a smooth handover of power would strengthen Nigeria’s democracy and help it reach its full potential.
He further 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. The former IGP condemned 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 said that, as part of its efforts to promote credible elections, AANI will observe the forthcoming elections across the country, adding that the group 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.
He rated the Association as 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, trained on the rudiments of policy formulation and strategy and have been contributing to national development through its mission: “To serve as a think tank to the government of Nigeria,” vision:”To promote the noble ideas of a better society,” and the motto: “Towards a better society.”
He said that the association 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.”