13th February, 2015
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) on Friday urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remain focus to conduct free, fair and credible polls.
The was contained in a communiqué issued in Kaduna at the end of its Board of Trustees and National Executive Council meeting.
The ACF said INEC should not be distracted by recent attempts by a section of the political class to intimidate it, stressing that the exercise “must take place as rescheduled and produce credible results under whatever circumstances.
“No attempt from any quarter should be allowed to interfere with the exercises. We view threats and intimidation against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as attempts to cripple the integrity and credibility of the elections.
“The ACF berated recent attempt to involve the military in the electoral process,” adding that the attempt contravened the provisions of the constitution.
It said the military should pay attention to its constitutional duty to protect the peace, security and survival of the nation.
“This is the time for our military to stand behind the people and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which they have sworn to protect,” it said.
The communiqué said the military should be kept out of the electoral process, noting that the only security requirement in the electoral process was maintenance of law and order.
It also said that the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) had the constitutional responsibility to maintain law and order, adding that the Inspector-General of Police had assured of the force had the capability to cover the polls.
The forum reaffirmed its commitment to the democratic process in Nigeria, saying that the new dates set for the exercise must remain “sacrosanct and inviolate.”
“We appeal to the international community to maintain its vigil on events leading to the scheduled elections and sustain the pressure on government to honour its pledge to allow the elections hold.
“We also appeal to leaders of regional groups, civil society organisations and leaders of communities to support Nigerians to defend and protect our democracy and ensure that elections take place in as rescheduled.”