Aswaj Bola Tinubu, the president-elect, yesterday denounced what he called “isolated” incidents of violations, racial epithets, and violence that followed the 2023 General Elections, saying that the process of reconciliation could now start.
In contrast, Tinubu’s call for reconciliation following a violent election was swiftly denounced by the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as the height of hypocrisy.
This happened at the same time as The Washington Post praised the general elections, noting that despite some clear defects in the procedure, the democratic system had held and was holding — considerably better, so far, than would have been anticipated.
Alhaji Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto, and the President-General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, have urged anyone dissatisfied with the results of the recently concluded general elections to file a lawsuit instead of engaging in violent protests.
In what looked to be a post-mortem of the polls, Tinubu claimed that the 28 state polls and the 36 federation-wide state legislative votes had successfully brought the 2023 election cycle to an end.
While praising President Muhammadu Buhari, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and other stakeholders, Tinubu claimed that strengthening democratic governance at the local level will lead to more growth and an improvement in the general population’s standard of living.
“Let’s move above sentimental faults,”
The President-elect called for Nigerians to rise above partisanship, ethnicity, and religious views and focus more on the “valued strings that bind us together as a nation,” denouncing the violence and other negative tendencies that followed the conduct of the elections.
I am saddened by the reported isolated transgressions during the elections and in some states’ aftermath, he remarked. I vehemently reject it. A state that did not accurately reflect who we are as peace-loving people was the one where there was a report of arson after the announcement of the governorship.
“The assaults, both physical and verbal, are abhorrent and contrary to the democratic character.
“Elections shouldn’t be sad occasions, but rather celebrations of our democracy’s development and freedom of choice. I find racial slurs especially hurtful since they can lead to needless mischaracterization, as has been noted in several places.
“My plea is for us to put aside our differences, which, regardless of how we were born, are minimal compared to the important threads that link us together as a people.
“I can speak to the power of our diversity and unity as a former governor of Lagos State. As your incoming president, I vow to uphold the inclusiveness we fostered in Lagos in national governance so that we may all reach our full potential.
“I will place a high premium on enlarging the civic sphere and preserving citizens’ freedom to exercise their legal rights.
The elections are over, in fact. The people have cast their ballots to choose the governors and state representatives who will represent them for the ensuing four years. This is the time for government and leadership.
The majority would rule in a democracy, but that majority couldn’t prevent the minority from speaking up. As Democrats, we must defend the right to free speech. Winners must be gracious, and losers must have a big heart for tolerance and regard for the larger good of the country.
He urged all public officials to act quickly to bring the populace together and support the healing process.
“We must act quickly to bring together the people, both those who supported us and those who did not,”
“We must act quickly to bring together the people, both those who supported us and those who did not. By accepting the adversaries and their backers, we must promote the healing process.
“The time for politics, as I’ve said before, is over. This is the time for nation-building, a mission larger than one person or one segment of society. Every hand, from wherever it may be, ought to be on deck, according to Tinubu.
Atiku claims that Tinubu’s appeal for reconciliation following his use of violence is hypocritical.
Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s presidential contender, responded to Tinubu’s request by dismissing it as the height of hypocrisy.
Yet, he applauded the US government for denouncing the racially tinged and violent Lagos State election.
Yesterday, Tinubu expressed concern over what he called “infractions in various states as well as the harsh discourse that defined the polls” in a statement that he personally signed.
In reaction, Atiku called Tinubu’s statement “after-thought and hypocritical garbage” in a statement released through his Special Assistant on Public Media, Mr. Phrank Shaibu.
He remarked that it was puzzling that Tinubu was advocating for peace after his supporters attacked Igbo voters in Lagos to help his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), win the governorship race.
Shaibu claimed Tinubu had kept up his protection of politicians, traditional leaders, and transport thugs who had been caught on camera threatening non-indigenous people.
“Tinubu’s current statement is filled with hypocrisy and lies,” declared Atiku. Traditional leaders, transport thugs, and politicians in his side threatened non-indigenous people for an entire month, but Tinubu remained silent.
“MC Oluomo, his lackey and a member of his presidential campaign council, was caught on camera threatening individuals of Igbo descent, but Tinubu said nothing.
“Bayo Onanuga and Femi Fani-Kayode, his campaign spokespeople, warned Igbo people on social media not to exercise their franchise, but Tinubu ignored them.
Traditional leaders imposed curfews, went about butchering goats, and then positioned the dead animals in front of voting booths, but Tinubu said nothing.
“A traditional chief and council chairman of the Gbara village called a meeting where they threatened to expel non-indigenous residents if they did not support the APC, but Tinubu said nothing.
Because Tinubu is protecting them, those who were invited by the police ignored the invites. Many persons who appeared to be Igbo were physically assaulted and denied the right to vote on election day, but Tinubu remained silent.
He has rediscovered his voice and is pleading for reconciliation now that his party has stolen the election. He ought to inform the marines about that.
If Tinubu is sincere, he should see to it that all those proven guilty are detained and brought to justice. But as their godfather, we are aware that he cannot do this.
He also called it a positive development that the US Embassy in Nigeria issued a statement denouncing the violence directed at the Igbo.
But, he claimed that the US should have gone farther by disclosing the identities of individuals who will be subject to visa limitations as well as the names of those who were determined to be at fault.
The US and EU countries deserve praise for denouncing the violence and intimidation that tainted the governorship race, particularly in Lagos, where Tinubu’s minions held the state to ransom, Atiku continued.
But, the US should have published the names of the violent offenders since it is aware of their identities. MC Oluomo resides in the United States.
“The US should go further and name other countries, especially the traditional rulers.”
“The US must also go further by naming other people who were complicit, including the traditional rulers in Lagos.
Recall that concerns about the results of the governorship/State Assembly and presidential/National Assembly elections persisted, prompting appeals from prominent Nigerians for individuals who felt wronged to seek restitution rather than retaliate violently.
The Sultan urged Nigerians to embrace peace and ensure peaceful coexistence after the general elections while speaking at a Ramadan symposium yesterday with the theme “Ramadan, the Month of Blessings,” which was organized in partnership with the Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI), Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), and the Islamic Education Trust (IET).
He declared: “Politics shouldn’t sabotage our relationships; we should embrace peace with our brothers and sisters. Every politician who feels wronged should go to court to demand compensation.
Elections, politics, and the glorious month of Ramadan are all over.
“Politics and elections are finished, and the wonderful month of Ramadan is coming. Now is the time to ask one another for forgiveness.
This is so that you can be one of the people Allah will shower with many blessings throughout the holy month.