The Supreme Council for Shari’ah in Nigeria has asked the Federal Government, as well as well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the Independent National Electoral Commission to hold both the presidential and governorship elections on the same day.
The council noted that the call became necessary to avoid violence at staggered polls.
The presidential and National Assembly elections are scheduled for February 25, 2023, while the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections are scheduled for March 11, 2023.
However, the council said there could be violence if the elections were staggered, adding that some desperate politicians were already warming up to cause a crisis to stop the elections.
The Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Shari’a in Nigeria, Nafi’u Baba-Ahmed, while addressing a press conference in Kaduna on Sunday, said a security source confirmed to the council that security agencies might not be able to withstand the looming political violence.
Baba-Ahmed said, “There is a high probability of the second election not holding because of the violence from the first election. It is not going to be feasible.
“The first election is the presidential and National Assembly elections. We fear that, in light of the precarious security situation in the country and the fact that security agencies have admitted they are overstretched, it is quite possible, in fact, highly probable, that some desperate politicians who might lose the election will trigger political violence to the extent that the subsequent elections may not hold.
“In the light of this, we engage all those that matter. We met with some of the key security chiefs, who expressed their understanding of the situation and agreed with us that their manpower is already overstretched. And it is going to be an uphill task to cope with political violence.
“We, therefore, advise that INEC should be prevailed upon to hold all the elections on the same day. This way, we will avoid a situation where some desperate politicians that are about to lose cannot create chaos in the country such that we will be left with elections half-held and half-on-hold.”
The council also appealed to Nigerians to make the necessary sacrifice to vote no matter how long it takes.