OPPOSITION PARTIES MUST CONDUCT THEMSELVES WITH DECORUM NOT TO OVERHEAT THE POLITY.
Our attention has been drawn to some incendiary comments by spokespersons of the opposition parties, notably the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) regarding the yet-to-be-announced results of the elections that held yesterday. Some of them have threatened fire and brimstone if their own version of some concocted results are not announced in a bid to be the judge, jury and executioner in this elections.
Similarly, to rile up their supporters against the country, they play up some isolated incidents of violence in our strongholds, whereas we have tons of videos of massive electoral malpractices like violence against non-LP supporters, forcing and guiding women and children to thumb-print ballot papers for LP and massive thumb-printing of ballot papers by both PDP and LP supporters in some parts of the country. In addition, in one breath one of the spokespersons of the PDP complained about a certain headline in a newspaper about early results, yet in condemning the newspaper, he also makes unfounded claims about the yet-to-be released results.
On our part, we have decided to be calm to await the official announcement of the results and to pursue any grievance (if any) in a lawful manner. But we shall not sit back and allow such unguided comments to gain grounds in order to foist a particular narrative on our citizens and the international community. Recall that all parties signed the Peace Accord twice before the eyes of the world. Now is the time to abide by the terms of that accord and show love for country over and above personal ambitions.
We have all campaigned hard and strong. The Nigerian people have listened to all of us and made their decisions. Now is the time to hear the voices of Nigerians as the results are released and not our own voices. The body officially designated to reflect the voices of Nigerians is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). No Party can bully them by threats to do its own bidding. Neither will the APC be cowed into silence by this disgusting antics of the opposition parties.
We call on the International Observers and friends of Nigeria not to be distracted, but to focus on the process as it unfolds.
FESTUS KEYAMO, SAN, FCIArb(UK)
· Director of Public Affairs and Chief Spokesperson, Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council.
· Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Federal Republic of Nigeria. SAN, FCIArb(UK)