Nigeria’s state of insecurity is not a sufficient reason to stop the 2023 general elections from holding, a presidential aspirant said on Monday.
Kingsley Moghalu, an ex-CBN deputy governor and the 2019 presidential candidate for Young Progressives Party (YPP), at a press conference in Abuja, said he supported President Muhammadu Buhari’s insistence to hold the 2023 regardless of the troubling coordinated attacks on INEC facilities and other parts of the nation.
“I think we have to understand that we have a commitment to democracy, even America, during war held elections. I will not encourage the kind of thinking that allows us to seek refuge in excuses to truncate democracy all because there is a lot of insecurity in the country.
“Even the president, Buhari himself, has said, in his recent remark, that was the more controversial comment, that elections must hold in 2023 and I believe that it is a good position, and I think that is the position we should all take,” Mr Moghalu said .
Before his recent meeting with Mr Buhari, the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, had subtly spoken about the possibility of not holding the 2023 elections due to the constant attacks on its facilities by unknown gunmen.
The attacks, best described as an offshoot of the current state of the country, have led to the destruction of 42 of the commission’s facilities housing both sensitive and non-sensitive election materials and other properties.
Mr Moghalu presented five recommendations to the current administration to kickstart and forge a united path for Nigerians.
He suggested the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission.
According to him, the commission should comprise seven independent members “one from each geopolitical zone, and one international member assigned from the United Nations or from South Africa, both entities of which have extensive experience in TRC matters, with a six month mandate to examine specifically the events of January 1966 to January 1970, invite witnesses, survivors and critical players still alive to make statements, and make findings and recommendations that will promote national reconciliation by turning historical memory into a positive force for mutual forgiveness and nation building.”
The ex-CBN chief called on Mr Buhari to invite secessionist agitation movements to a national dialogue with the goal to address verifiable grievances and set up a constituent assembly to frame a new constitution for the country.
“President Buhari should appoint a panel of historians, with equal representation from the northern and southern parts of Nigeria to review and agree on a curriculum of contemporary national history, including the Nigerian Civil War, to be taught in primary and secondary institutions from the specific perspective of lessons learned, national healing and reconciliation;
“Establish May 30 as a national holiday to remember the millions that died in the Nigerian civil war,” he further recommended.
In addition to this, Mr Moghalu spoke about the need to localise the country’s policing and embark on constant training for officers to enhance professionalism in the force.
He acknowledged the role of separationist groups in the cases of attacks in the southern parts of the country but factored in the possibility of politicians using the region to fight their political battles in the 2023 election.
“I can see a lot of political motives in all of the insecurity in the country, in some cases it is just sheer criminality. We know that there are some separationists who have accepted responsibilities for the insecurity in the country. There is a mixture of things.
“There is another theory that the violence in the region is to discredit the region in the coming election,” he said.
Mr Moghalu has declared to run for Nigeria topmost seat in the coming election, but he is yet to declare the party on whose platform he would do so.
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