Threats To Smooth Transition: Coalition of Northern Groups Tasks Buhari on Free, Fair, Credible 2023 Elections | The Street Reporters Newspaper Threats To Smooth Transition: Coalition of Northern Groups Tasks Buhari on Free, Fair, Credible 2023 Elections | The Street Reporters Newspaper
Comrade Abdul-Azeez Suleiman CNG spokesman

Threats To Smooth Transition: Coalition of Northern Groups Tasks Buhari on Free, Fair, Credible 2023 Elections

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The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), an amalgamation of several groups in Northern Nigeria, has expressed concerns over signs of threats to a smooth transition through a scuttled process for credible 2023 general elections, urging President Muhammadu to assume the role of a statesman “by standing against any machination against the conduct of credible elections and peaceful handover.”

In a press release issued in Abuja by the CNG spokesman, Comrade Abdul-Azeez, the Coalition alerted Nigerians on the need to “prepare to endure the pains and ensure they cast their votes and their votes count, regardless of the antics of enemies of the country and undemocratic elements.”

The full statement reads:


The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) as usual, has taken stock of events unfolding just a few months to the conduct of general elections in Nigeria, noting especially, the setting in of major factors that negatively affect ordinary Nigerians and potentially frustrate interest in the elections; fuel, electricity, redesigned naira notes, withdrawal limit, hike in tuition and a generally controversial population census.

The CNG notes also, the unrelenting disturbances in the South-East, encouraged by certain powerful interests entrenched in the current administration in the form of escalated violence using IPOB and other authors of mindless violence and separatism.

As the representatives of various interest groups from Northern Nigeria, the CNG has watched and studied these events carefully and with considerable restraint and maturity, until recently, when suspicions of a grand plot to scuttle the 2023 polls reached a point whereby silence has become complicity and inaction no longer an option.


CNG notes particularly, the ratification and vigorous pursuit of a regime of harsh unrealistic economic and financial policies by the Central Bank of Nigeria less than a month to the election, inflicting pains on the electorates and heating up the political atmosphere.

Another hard proof of potential threat to a peaceful transition through an acceptable electoral process, is having fuel scarcity grounding activities and frustrating the population a month to the election.

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Already many Nigerian families and businesses are groaning over the scarcity of fuel and the hike in the pump price ranging from N270 to N400 per litre in recent weeks, a move seen by many as the handiwork of high profile saboteurs bent on throwing a wedge in the nation’s democratic process by derailing the coming elections.

At the same time, embarking on Naira Exchange and making the new currency scarce by the CBN is another latent ground for suspicion.

The timing for the implementation of such a policy in a country in which the total mumber of deposit money bank branches is just 5,437 with a concentration 1624 branches in Lagos alone, other southern states 2235, and the entire Northern Nigerian states 1188, Abuja 390 is certainly a calculated to effort to bring about general confusion that would threaten the 2023 polls.

Noteworthy as well is that, of the 109 million adults in Nigeria, only 56 million have BVNs, leaving 53 million Nigerian adults without access to digital payment systems when little cash is available.

Emiefile’s apparent arrogant stance on no going back on the January 31st deadline despite the patriotic intervention of the Nigerian Senate urging the CBN to extend the deadline by 6 months, the outright rejection of the policy by the Federal House of Representatives and the Nigerian Governors Forum, has inadvertently made the situation all the more suspicious.

NEPA tariff went up, a month to the general election and suddenly, public tertiary institutions commenced an exorbitant hike in students tuition adding to other factors that are making life difficult for Nigerians as a people.

Most disturbing is the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele’s rigid 31 January 2023 deadline for the old and new currency exchange when just about 10% of the population of 225m people have touched or seen the new currency.

Then there is the mounting nationwide suspicion around the timing for the conduct of a national census, which in all previous instances have resulted in serious chaos.

a. The scenario playing out is akin to the circumstances that scuttled the elections of 1964 as a result of serious disagreement and conflict over population census figures.

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The CNG, after digesting the above grounds for suspicion, has inadvertently arrived at the following inevitable observations.


  1. According to Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), 34.4 million of the 39.6 million micro, small, and medium enterprises in Nigeria are informal. Another report by the NBS has also shown that only 22% of the 34.4 million informal businesses use the Internet daily.
  2. Small businesses make up 96% of the number of companies in Nigeria, and according to the 2020 World Play Global payment Report, cash is used for 91% of in-store purchases in Nigeria.
  3. Potential inconvenience for individuals and organisations with high cash transaction needs.
  4. Cash is the greatest asset for people who operate point of sale (PoS) terminals and organisations such as Moniepoint that facilitate these transactions. These PoS agents, like everyone else, get their cash from banks, and the cash withdrawal limit automatically makes it difficult for them to serve customers. 
  5. This inconvenience also extends to individuals such as artisans who accept cash for their services with the new policy, those who do not have bank accounts or even bank verification numbers (BVNs) may find it hard to receive payments.


  1. That the resurgence of violence in the South East with attacks on security personnel, national security assets, INEC infrastructure and election facilities, unprovoked evictions, attacks and killings of northerners natives is also part of a mega plan to create a chaotic atmosphere before, during and after the elections.

a. Just recently, the Ditrctorate of State Services revealed that highly placed political actors are behind the escalation of attacks and violence on particularly, election facilities.

  1. That the disturbances that have been ongoing ceaselessly across the northern region, are aimed at rendering the declaration of elections results practically impossible, and ushering in of anarchy and instability thereby occasioning a cancelation of the exercise.

a. This is more scary when the highest national security organ in the country, the Department of State Services would accuse a top financial management official of sponsoring terrorism in the land and that individual is allowed to go virtually unchecked.

All the above scenarios are suspected to be played out to prevent a peaceful transition through a successful conduct of patently transparent and credible election, the result of which could be acceptable to all Nigerians.

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Consequent upon the foregone observations, the CNG hereby declares categorically, the following stands:

  1. That for the avoidance of doubt, we warn that any attempt from any quarters, to hoist any form of undemocratic arrangement short of a transparent, free and fair elections will be roundly resisted and rejected.
  2. To warn that all manifestations of schemes by political opportunities desperate to cover their tracks of corruption and wanton abuses by scuttling the elections would face stiff resistance.
  3. We call on every Nigerian to prepare to defend the nation’s hard earned democracy from any attempt to tamper with the democratic electoral process be it in the form of interim government arrangement or military intervention under whatever pretext.
  4. We caution all political parties and their candidates to eschew personal interests and insist on a peaceful democratic transition and reject any form of undemocratic arrangement.

a. It is important here to remind any candidate that may emerge as a result of a credible election to remember the obligation to ease the hardships Nigerians are made to go through by reversing the current harsh economic policies and addressing all financial losses suffered by innocent Nigerians therefrom.

  1. We call on President Muhammadu Buhari, as a major beneficiary of credible election, to absolve himself by reclaiming his statesmanship by standing against any machination against the conduct of credible elections and peaceful handover.
  2. Finally, we urge urged the Nigerian people to prepare to endure the pains and ensure they cast their votes and their votes count, regardless of the antics of enemies of the country and undemocratic elements.
  3. We alert the global community to the dangers of tolerating a rigged election in Nigeria or any undemocratic arrangement that may not be the result of a credible, free and fair election.


Abdul-Azeez Suleiman,
CNG Spokesperson

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Comrade James Ezema is a veteran journalist and media consultant. He is a political strategist. He can be reached on +2348035823617 via call or WhatsApp.

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