….Governors Hindering Our Campaign — Alkali

The national chairman of the New People’s Party of Nigeria, Ahmed Alkali, has said that the security threat for the upcoming 2023 elections is real.

Alkali made the disclosure on Wednesday while speaking to reporters at his party’s national secretariat in Abuja.

However, he noted that the NNPP was convinced that the Independent National Electoral Commission was fully prepared to carry out the general elections as scheduled.

Speaking on the alarm issued by an INEC National Commissioner, Prof. Abdullahi Zuru, on the growing security challenges that could undermine the conduct of the elections, Alkali said: “We are aware that some foreign nations issued security alarms. We don’t know what they know, but they didn’t share what they know with the Federal Government; that, of course, was enough to increase the tension.

“But they should have also announced their return the way they announced their departure. However, regardless of the circumstances, there must be a new government in 2023. Therefore, both the INEC and the leadership of the political parties must work for that.

“We know that the INEC does not speak in any way to have said this at this critical moment, there must be a reason.

“We also know that the CBN governor also changed the Nigerian currency. Maybe the intention was right, but the timing isn’t right; we don’t know what they want to achieve but that is reason enough to undermine the choice.

“In addition, the political parties signed an agreement within the framework of the National Peace Committee and we all agreed to carry out our campaigns, peacefully.

“But you are aware of the development since INEC announced that the parties can start their campaigns. Governors do not allow the opposition to campaign in some states. In Borno, they took down the billboards of our candidate for governor.

“When our presidential candidate was going to Maiduguri, the APC government in the state closed our office. He has seen a serving minister saying that he has money to win elections, that is intimidation.

“You can also hear people calling for the dismissal of the INEC president. Once you do that, the whole process is interrupted.

“I have not even mentioned the threats to the security of the INEC offices and even its staff.

“But we are sure that the security forces have the ability to stop all these threats to carry out the election.”

Speaking about court cases involving NNPP candidates, Alkali called on the judiciary to quickly hear their cases and urged his candidates to continue their campaigns.

He said: “For all those whose names have been approved by the courts, we urge INEC to take appropriate action.

“Our party has benefited greatly from strong rulings by the Federal High Courts and the Court of Appeal that were delivered promptly despite crowded court files.

“NNPP would like to use this medium to express our appreciation and gratitude to the Nigerian judiciary for being the last bastion of hope for the people and a pillar of democracy and democratic processes, particularly ahead of the general election.”