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Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Acting President

IPAC laments state of the nation; Calls for prayers for President Buhari

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Acting President

 

The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) General Assembly has called on Nigerians to continue to pray for the quick recovery of President Muhammadu Buhari who is currently in the United Kingdom for his vacation and medical treatment, noting that as humans, we are all prone to sickness and require medical attention and divine intervention to be restored to health.

IPAC, which met in Abuja on Wednesday to review the State of the nation and proffer solutions that will deepen and strengthen the nation’s democracy, in a statement by its Chairman, Hon. Muhammed Lawal Nalado, however, commended President Buhari “for properly handing over to Vice President Yemi Osibanjo to act on his behalf which has saved the nation from avoidable constitutional crisis.”

IPAC, the umbrella body of all registered political parties, lamented the state of the nation, which it noted, has been characterized by “political upheavals, inconclusive and violent elections, insecurity, economic recession, unprecedented corrupt practices and agitation for self-determination and secession in some parts of the country.”

Full text of the statement reads:

STATE OF THE NATION

The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) General Assembly met today to review the State of the Nation and proffer solutions that will deepen and strengthen our emerging democracy. As the umbrella body of all registered political parties, IPAC is the platform, vehicle and channel for constructive political engagement between political parties, stakeholders and Governments at all levels that will boost our representative governance and provide dividends of democracy to our longsuffering compatriots. The ship of Nigeria State should be steered away from its perilous course to the path of rectitude, growth, development, advancement and prosperity.

It is obvious that the state of the Nation is not sound. Nigerians have witnessed political upheavals, inconclusive and violent elections, insecurity, economic recession, unprecedented corrupt practices and agitation for self-determination and secession in some parts of the country.

IPAC enjoins Nigerians to keep praying to God for quick recovery of President Muhammadu Buhari who is currently in the United Kingdom for his vacation and medical treatment. As human, we are all prone to sickness and will require medical attention and divine intervention to be restored to health.

IPAC commends President Muhammadu Buhari for properly handing over to Vice President Yemi Osibanjo to act on his behalf which has saved the nation from avoidable constitutional crisis as obtainable in the past. This is democracy in action that should be emulated by all public office holders.

IPAC is concerned over the high rate of inconclusive elections in Nigeria and urges the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to provide a level playing field for all candidates and political parties contesting various elections. Free, fair, credible, transparent, peaceable and acceptable elections are the cornerstone of sustainable democracy. The neutrality of the electoral umpire is critical for the success of all polls. The indictment of some of the Commission’s Staff in electoral malpractices is a cause of concern to all lovers of democracy in Nigeria and must stop forthwith.

IPAC is alarmed that the tenure of most of the Resident Electoral Commissioners across the country has expired. IPAC urges the Mahmud Yakubu-led INEC, the Presidency and National Assembly to take immediate action to address this lacuna to avoid unnecessary electoral quagmire that will impede our frail democracy.

Security agents should also sit up and ensure peaceful elections. The Electoral Act should be amended to empower security agents to arrest and prosecute electoral offenders. It is time to sanitize our electoral system.

IPAC urges political parties to imbibe internal democracy in carrying out their activities. We are worried about increasing leadership disagreement in political parties particularly in People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP). We urge leaders of the affected political parties to embrace dialogue and political solution to resolve their differences. They can also avail themselves of both IPAC and INEC Alternative dispute Resolution Processes. Conscious of peaceful political landscape, IPAC is ready to assist in resolving all political parties’ leadership issues in the country.

IPAC commend the nation’s security agents in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency, militancy and Fulani herdsmen attacks. We however, warn against the harassment, intimidation torture and wanton killing of unarmed peaceful protesters and activists in the country. Freedom of expression is an inalienable right of all Nigerians. That is why those who cannot have their way should at least have their say. It is the beauty of democracy. Our security agents should be guided and not to be over zealous in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities.

IPAC notes with satisfaction the ongoing war against corruption and commend various anti-graft agencies for their efforts to rid the Nation of corrupt practices. We urge the Judiciary to expedite trial of all public office holders indicted of corruption to ensure that those guilty are sanctioned while the innocent ones are acquitted. The Judiciary is the last hope of all aggrieved people. Its officers like Caesar’s wife should live above suspicion. As the temple of justice, Nigerians expect men and women of integrity, credibility and nobility to serve and dispense justice in our courts of Law. The National Judicial Council should sanction any erring Judicial Officers immediately to reinforce Nigerians’ confidence in our judicial system.

IPAC notes with pains that the economy is still under recession with high inflation rate that has impoverished millions of our fellow compatriots. Nigerians are suffering beyond measure. It is time to revive and revamp the economy and provide democracy dividends to the masses. The Federal Government should as a matter of urgency carry out palliative measures to ameliorate the sufferings of the people.

We commend the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its pro-active steps in strengthening the naira against foreign currencies and enjoin the apex bank to take more actions that will stabilize the economy and make it prosperous again.

IPAC also urges the National Assembly to expedite action on the 2017 appropriation bill and ensure its passage this month. The full implementation of the budget will effectively stimulate the economy on once again and put it on the path of growth that will improve the people’s standard of living.

To build a vibrant democracy, buoyant economy and decent society is our collective responsibility.

 

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