The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders (SMBLF) have called on the judiciary to be careful not to give judgments that will further divide the country.
Signatories to the communique were Ijaw National Leader, Edwin Clark; leader of Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo, President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu; National President of Middle Belt Forum, Pogu Bitrus, and National Chairman, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Emmanuel Essien.
The group advised judges presiding over the President Election Petitions Tribunal not to be biased in their judgment, stressing that Nigerians were monitoring the proceedings.
The communique reads: “With regards to the 2023 general election, SMBLF commends Nigerian youths for their courage and astuteness in expressing their interest in the future of this country and calls on them not to become discouraged by some of the seeming outcomes,” the group added.
“Accordingly, calls on the youths of Nigeria to remain undeterred and emboldened to carry their foresight of building a new Nigeria to fruition, and to note that the struggle for the needed change has just begun.
“SMBLF strongly urges the nation’s judiciary to be aware that all Nigerians are watching with very keen interest the ongoing judicial processes at the presidential election petition tribunal as well as various election tribunals across the country.
“Further cautions the judicial arm, at all levels, to be mindful of the fact that the present process is a true test of our effort at building a country based on the rule of law and respect for our constitution.
“It is the expectation of Nigerians that the outcome of the processes will be a reflection of the provisions of the constitution of the country, which must be sacrosanct, and the rights of all affected parties upheld based on the provisions of the laws of Nigeria.
“SMBLF notes with serious concern, the continued snowballing level of indebtedness being incurred by the federal government, particularly the recent request for a $800 million World Bank loan, and calls on the federal government to rescind that request.
“Decries the rising cost of living in the country and the hyperinflation rate, confining a vast majority of ordinary Nigerians to a dire state of survival.
“Implores government at all levels to take urgent, practical steps to rejig the economy, check inflation and help improve citizens’ well-being and prospects.”