Leaders and elders from the South and Middle Belt yesterday warned that any attempt to scuttle the 2023 general elections and impose an interim government would be vehemently resisted.
The leaders under the aegis of Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) also cautioned candidates at all levels to shun all acts of violence, before, during, and after the elections.
While they stressed the need to give peace a chance, they added that Nigerians have no other country to call their own.
They also commended the president and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the redesign of the naira notes to mitigate illicit financial transactions but urged apex bank and commercial banks
to take urgent steps to improve the management of the process to alleviate the sufferings of citizens.
They also warned that the current situation portends danger to national peace and security.
SMBLF stated this in their communique released yesterday after they rose from an extraordinary meeting in Abuja on Thursday.
The meeting which was chaired by elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, had in attendance leaders of the component organizations: Afenifere for the South West, Ohanaeze Ndigbo for the South East, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) for the South-South and the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) for the Middle Belt.
The meeting deliberated extensively on the state of the nation and the 2023 general elections as well as other worrisome issues, particularly, the current hardship Nigerians are facing due to the unavailability of the new currency notes, the fuel situation, the problems with PVC collection.
It read in part, “Further cautions political stakeholders, particularly the candidates and their supporters, at all levels, to shun all acts of violence, before, during, and after the elections. Let us give peace a chance; Nigeria is our country, and we do not have any other.”
“Maintains that the northern part of the country, as represented by President Muhammadu Buhari, would have fully enjoyed the Office of the President of the country for the full statutory period of 8 years by May 29, 2023, hence, should yield the presidency to South;
“Observes that the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP), His Excellency, Peter Obi, the former governor of Anambra State, stands out amongst the presidential candidates in terms of credibility, integrity, competence, and national outlook.
“Believes that Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) represents the Nigerian conscience, moral probity, generational hope, and redemption epiphany, among others.”
They applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to non-interference in the electoral process to guarantee free, fair, and credible elections.