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February 25, 2023 presidential election: MBF urges justice at the tribunal, gives reasons for supporting Obi 


 

Piqued by the outcome of the February 25 2023 Presidential/National Assembly elections, the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has called on Nigerians, particularly those in the region, to remain calm as the presidential candidates of the Labour Party and Peoples Democratic Party challenge the results of the elections at the tribunal.

National President of the Forum, Dr Pogu Bitrus, in a press statement, Wednesday, said it is their “hope that the courts would rise in defence of democracy and do what is right, in view of the alleged flaws in the exercise.”

The statement said “the legitimacy and integrity of the electoral process makes it extremely important for INEC to prove to the Nigerian people that their mandate was not deliberately subverted, stressing that the commission must comply with its guidelines, the law and the constitution in conducting the Governorship and House of Assembly elections earlier slated to hold on 11th March, 2023.”

Stating that the basis for its support for Peter Obi of the Labour Party in the presidential polls was in line with their sense of justice, equity and fair play, MBF called for equity and justice at the election petition tribunals.

It said, “The shared understanding by the political elite in Nigeria that presidential power oscillates between Southern and Northern Nigeria had ensured that the South West and the South-South geo-political zones had been in the saddle at the Presidential level at different times since the return of civil rule in May 1999, leaving out only the South East.

“On the basis of fairness and inclusivity, it was imperative for the South East to produce the next president of Nigeria from Southern Nigeria. This conviction was why the Middle Belt was the first to hold a rally in support of Mr. Obi in Jos, Plateau State, in 2022.

The Middle Belt was therefore in the trenches, shoulder to shoulder, with all lovers of justice, equity on the 25th February, 2023.

“We call on all Nigerians, particularly the peoples of the Middle Belt region, to once again come out en masse to vote in candidates who are pro-Middle Belt Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections this Saturday 11th March 2023.

“As political parties and candidates head to the Election Petition Tribunal, we strongly urge the Judges to remain on the side of JUSTICE and ensure the wheel of justice is not compromised.” 

The Forum, however, appreciated the Nigerian press for its consistency in the defence of democracy, noting that, right from the colonial times, the members of the Nigerian press have been on the side of the people and continued this tradition.”