The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has reminded the Judiciary of the trust Nigerians have in them to dispense unbiased judgements as several political parties, individuals and interest groups approach the courts to seek redress over the outcome of the elections.
The NEF’s Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed in a statement, also cautioned party leaders to restrain spokespersons from escalating damaging language and exchanges.
The Forum said it welcomes the decision of contestants who feel the elections had not met legal thresholds of acceptability to seek adjudication over its credibility and settle other constitutional issues related to it.
“Northern Elders Forum has sustained its decision to exercise responsible vigilance over the 2023 elections and encourage the emergence of leaders under credible, free and fair elections and a peaceful transition from the current administration to the next one.
“It has followed the conduct of the elections, some of which are still being planned or conducted. The Forum welcomes the decision of contestants who feel the elections had not met legal thresholds of acceptability to seek adjudication over its credibility and settle other constitutional issues related to it.
“The Forum is however concerned over rhetorics and exchanges which raise tensions and fuel negative dispositions that threaten inter-community relations. It is also concerned that leaders are not exercising enough responsibility to encourage respect for the judicial process, a key element of the electoral process.
“The Forum appeals to Nigerians to allow the judiciary to undertake its onerous responsibility under a calm and peaceful atmosphere. Party leaders should restrain spokespersons from escalating damaging language and exchanges.
“The Forum reminds the Nigerian judiciary that Nigerians look up to it to salvage democracy and restore the faith of Nigerians over its integrity and competence in the manner it handles all election matters.
“At any rate, Nigerians should be reminded that our country must survive these elections and address the conduct of elections that have improved standards of quality as well as strengthen the foundations of our peaceful co-existence,” the statement noted.