BY JULIET NONYELUM
Arewa Youth Consultative Forum ( AYCF) has passed vote of confidence on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu.
In a statement signed by the national President AYCF, Alhaji Yerima Shettima said “we have very closely observed the Independent National Electoral Commission( INEC) and all the management of the election process from the period before and after the Presidential and National Assembly so far.
“We are convinced that there forces opposed to the commendable effort of INEC and we are aware there is deliberate ploy to distract the electoral umpire”.
“Notwithstanding the grand conspiracy against INEC and Nigerian voters who got the opportunity to vote for the candidates of their choice, we wish to state as follows
“INEC has given the 2023 elections their best shot by training and retraining of election officials, using the BVAS successfully in 90% cases.
“As with elections anywhere in the world, INEC couldn’t have done a perfect job because in reality they cannot be completely infallible”.
“We say no to the forces of destabilization of Nigeria who have been calling for the resignation of INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu without any cogent reason.
“For those who are crying wolf over election rigging, they need to have a rethink because APC’s Bola Tinubu lost in his immediate Constituency of Lagos and Labor party won many areas. PDP’s Atiku Abubakar lost his immediate Constituency of Adamawa. It is very clear that this is comparatively the most free and fair election since 1999.
“It is pointless crying foul where there is none we call on men and women of good conscience to support the efforts of INEC to bequeath a good electoral legacy for the country. Imagine holding elections under a cashless policy, when there rural areas without banks and ATM machines or non-existent internet infrastructure. It is obvious that the INEC officials made enormous sacrifice under the current economic and national security challenges to hold successful presidential and National Assembly elections.
“We shall resist all the forces seeking to undermine the current democratic process as being upheld by INEC. We make bold to say that we are key stakeholders of the current democracy because of our history of struggle to end military dictatorship and sow the seed of civilian government. We are also aware that the forces working against the INEC leadership do not mean well for Nigeria and we are prepared anyday, to stop them from their destabilization agenda.
“INEC must be allowed to deliver on their mandate without any hindrance. We are also prepared to ensure that peace is preserved under a democratic atmosphere because we gave our mental and physical abilities to ensure that democracy is where it is today. No one should date truncate this democracy. Whoever has ear let him hear, we have warned.
“We commend the doggedness of INEC election officials for delivering on their assignment. We reject any deliberate ploy to cause crisis in the name of unsubstantiated allegations of rigging.
“We urge the civil society to be careful about acting the script of candidates who have lost the just-concluded elections and are trying to engineer thuggery, killings and arson”.
“We all have a duty as Nigerians to be patriotic enough to speak the truth and stand by peace, unity and national stability”.