The United Action Front of Civil Society, a platform for civil society organizations focused on governance and democracy, has criticized the combative response of the Bola Tinubu-led government to the recently released report of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM). The group described the government’s reaction as a panicky self-indictment. Meanwhile, Phrank Shaibu, Special Assistant on Public Communication to Atiku Abubakar, has cautioned supporters of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Bola Tinubu against disrupting the proceedings at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
Condemnation of Government’s Reaction:
In a statement by the Head of the National Coordinating Centre of the United Action Front of Civil Society, Olawale Okunniyi, the group expressed its concern over the frenzy, undiplomatic attack, and sponsored protests against the European Union. It viewed these actions as a clear demonstration of bad faith and a troubled response by the Tinubu-led government to the flaws and criminality observed during the February 25 presidential election. The group criticized the combative posture of the administration, highlighting the lack of responsibility and decency expected from the presidency of Nigeria.
Acknowledgement of EU-EOM Report:
The United Action Front of Civil Society commended the EU-EOM for its courage in stating the facts, despite the apparent underreporting of atrocities and electoral malpractices during the 2023 elections. While the EU report only partially captured the widespread flaws orchestrated by the ruling All Progressives Congress, the group acknowledged the importance of the EU’s impartial observation and the need for the Nigerian electoral system and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to address these issues.
Warning Against Disrupting Election Tribunal:
In a separate statement, Phrank Shaibu, the Special Assistant on Public Communication to Atiku Abubakar, cautioned supporters of the Tinubu-led government against disrupting the proceedings at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal. The warning came in response to the sponsored protest staged by Tinubu’s supporters at the European Union head office in Abuja after the release of the EU Observer Mission report, which revealed significant credibility concerns with the election. Shaibu recalled past instances of sponsored protests aimed at intimidating the judiciary and urged security agencies to be vigilant during the tribunal proceedings.
The United Action Front of Civil Society has condemned the combative reaction of the Bola Tinubu-led government to the EU-EOM report, emphasizing the need for responsibility and decency in handling electoral issues. The group appreciated the EU’s efforts in highlighting flaws within the electoral process, despite some underreported incidents. Meanwhile, Phrank Shaibu warned against disrupting the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, citing past instances of sponsored protests and the need to uphold the integrity of the judicial process.