Call for Respect of Presidential Election Petition Tribunal The Nigerian Youth Network for Good Governance and Sustainable Democracy, a coalition of civil society organizations, has issued a statement urging political actors involved in the upcoming 2023 general elections to allow the presidential election petition tribunal to carry out its constitutional duties. Constantine Ikechukwu, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the group, expressed concern over some politicians who, despite pursuing their cases at the tribunal, continue to make derogatory remarks about the election outcome to the public.
Upholding the Legitimacy of the Election Process Ikechukwu emphasized that there is no substantial evidence to support the allegations that the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, rigged the 2023 presidential election in favor of the All Progressives Congress (APC) or violated any electoral laws. He stated that Yakubu’s declaration of Bola Tinubu as the President-Elect at the National Collation Centre was a fulfillment of his statutory role and within the confines of the law. Ikechukwu stressed the importance of respecting the legal process and highlighting that aggrieved parties have the opportunity to challenge the election outcome in court.
The Need for Sportsmanship and Responsible Commentary Ikechukwu called on politicians to embrace the spirit of sportsmanship in politics and avoid engaging in “do-or-die” tactics whenever election results do not align with their expectations. He expressed concern about foreign observers and local civil society organizations making subjective and unsubstantiated comments about the election, particularly when they did not observe a significant portion of the polling units. Ikechukwu highlighted instances where contradictory reports and comments have emerged, pointing out the need for responsible and evidence-based commentary from all stakeholders involved.