Prominent cleric, Sheikh Gumi, insists election must hold on schedule

Shiek Gumi

One of the foremost Islamic scholars from Northern Nigeria, Ahmad Gumi, has said the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] should go ahead and conduct elections as earlier scheduled.

The Sheik noted that an additional 100 years extension would not mean the elections would be without flaws.

The Islamic scholar also denounced the report that he was supporting a particular presidential candidate, describing the allegation as unfair to his personality.

Mr. Gumi spoke on Tuesday in Kaduna while unveiling an election monitoring non-governmental organisation, My ‎Choice, My Pride Foundation.

The NGO, which is his initiative, aims to collate election results from various geographical locations in Nigeria.

“On the election, to be honest with you, Nigeria is not yet perfect,” Mr. Gumi said. “Even if you give 100 years, it can never be enough. So no matter what, elections must still be hold. We can never be perfect. We are passing through a very difficult stage now.

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“When I said elections should hold anyway is because first, we have to establish that you don’t get power except through the box. We do not suggest other means for power except through ballot to establish a democratic type of governance. If we postpone these elections then on what ground are we going to continue; emergency rule?

“So no matter how it is, 2011 is not like 2015. So I think election should hold. The court is there to seek redress. We should not take the law into our hands. It is better we go into the elections no matter how flawed it may be and see how we can improve on that.

“Violence can mar the election, people should be patient with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, because they are improving; they are not perfect, which is normal with human beings.”

“If anybody has the notion that I am supporting any preferred candidate, I think it is very unfair to me because I have for long seen where the nation is heading to and advised the two parties: the APC and PDP that we should try and avoid all these conflicts in Nigeria. I advised them so that we can have a violence-free transition as against 2011 where we had crises.

“So I’m not supporting anybody and that is why I said we should not fight because Nigeria is big enough for all of us. We don’t need to kill one another. I know there are interest groups on both sides that represent these people. What I want is peace for Nigeria.”

On the foundation, he said the foundation is designed basically to promote election transparency.

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