MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
Nigerians may re-enact the political agitation and activism that attended the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election as a new coalition has emerged following the controversial result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on the February 25 presidential election.
Known as The Labour and Civil Society Front, (LCSF), the coalition in a statement sighted by AtlanticNewsonline on Thursday said “its main focus is to save Nigeria’s democracy by insisting that the outcome from the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal will be seen to be just and fair.
“The minimum we expect is for the judges to do right,” the coalition said in the statement jointly signed by the conveners namely, Olisa Agbakoba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Comrade Shehu Sani, Amb. Nkoyo Toyo, Prof Udenta Udenta, Salisu Mohammed, Osagie Obayuwana, Che Olawale Okunniyi and Prof. Chris Mustapha Nwaokobia Jnr. (Media Coordinator).
The statement reads:
“The Labour and Civil Society Front is committed to ensuring that the electoral process is protected and that at all times the primacy of the Peoples choice is preserved.
We stated in our debut outing on the 30th of April, 2023 that the Nigerian People are committed to seeing that the Judiciary rises to the urgency of now by passing judgement in the Presidential Election Petition that will truly present the Judiciary in glowing light.
In our Solidarity outing with organized Labour on the 1st of May, 2023 we were unanimous in the call on the Parties to the Petitions before the Presidential Elections Petition Tribunal to effectively pursue their call for Justice without let or hindrance, and we believe that democracy is endangered where wrong persons hijack the mandate of the people through electoral malfeasance and larceny.
We have in many ways supported and endorsed the protests, street matches, sit-in and sit-tights that have attended the largely flawed February 25, 2023 General Elections. We are calling on all lovers of democracy, well meaning Nigerians, supporters of the Rule of law, and believers in the noble demands of due process to join forces with us as we urge and nudge the Judiciary to do right.
The Presidential Elections Petition Tribunal which began sitting on the 8th of May, 2023 must not see our protests as an attempt to overawe it. Indeed our protests show that we have great faith in the Judiciary and that we believe that they will do right by ensuring that the true winner of the Presidential Election and no other is sworn in on the 29th of May, 2023, this can be done by expeditiously determining the preliminary prayers of the Petitioners. We urge and nudge the Judiciary to do right.
We, as a major Citizens’ Movement with nationwide Structures, are in alliance with the Free Nigeria Movement (that has been on the Streets for upward of 30days), the UpNorth Ambassadors, the Save Nigeria Group (that has been at the vanguard of protests around the Tribunal venue since Monday), The NCFront-3rd Force Movement of Nigeria, the Coalition of Obidient Movements Worldwide (with relentless channels of protest, calling for the validation of the Peoples Mandate), the League of Nigerian Progressives, the resurgent NADECO challenge, and several other groups committed to the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria.
Our unalterable and unyielding resolve is to salvage our decomposing democracy and restore the fast fading faith in the electoral process.
Finally, we encourage Nigerians to continue, and sustain all ongoing peaceful protests and matches against the monumental electoral larceny of the 25th of February, 2023 until Justice is done. To the Esteemed Judges in whose hands our collective sanity, faith and fate as a nation lie, the minimum we crave is that you do right.”