BY BODE GBADEBO, Abuja
A former presidential spokesperson, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has raised the alarm on why the 2023 elections may not take place, pointing out insecurity, agitations for balkanisation of the country and ethno-religious crises as threats to the exercise.
Okupe, therefore, tasked political leaders in the country irrespective party affiliations to unite in finding solutions to the problem of insecurity bedeviling the country.
Okupe in a statement personally signed by him in Abuja on Sunday, said addressing the menace along with agitations for self-rule and ethno-religious crises ahead of 2023 general elections, was imperative.
According to him, 2023 may be a mirage if the three interwoven problems are not immediately and holistically addressed by those in positions of authority.
He specifically charged the leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to stop playing the Ostrich regarding the problems and rescue the nation from precipice.
The statement titled, ‘2023 Under Threat’ reads in part: “There are serious and very visible indications within the polity that 2023 general elections may be a grand political illusion.
“Our collective national aspiration for a political process that will lead to schedule elections in 2023 has come under a very serious and compelling threat due to the prevalence of some three major troubling issues within our polity which are: (i)Increasing and widespread national insecurity, (ii) growing agitations for self rule, and (iii) pervasive and palpable intra-ethnic hatred.
“The above factors have attained very significant and commanding stature in our polity such that they have now assumed pre eminence over all other National concerns.
“Governments, political leaders, stakeholders, traditional institutions and well-meaning Nigerians must at this point in time stop everything else and pay due and urgent attention to finding quick solutions to these pressing issues before the consequences of failure to address them consume the entire nation.
“In particular, the political class through the two major political parties, the APC and PDP, must stop playing the Ostrich game and begin to act responsibly by taking the front line position in finding solutions to the intricate national problems.
“Government must resist the temptation to dismiss agitators for self rule as trouble makers or rabble rousers.
“The division or schism in our nation runs far deeper than what is observable at the surface. And the deployment of violent forces against our own citizens must be ruled out completely as a management option.
“We need at this stage to avoid further deaths, killings and bloodshed. Any action or inaction that can lead to civil war must be cautiously and consciously avoided.
“All resources both material and human and available expertise and technology must be deployed to stop banditry and kidnapping.
“Government and the good people of this country must do everything possible to prevent a decent into anarchy, chaos and socio political instability,” Okupe said.