*Tasks security agencies to arrest those guilty of calls
*Plans 2m man-march in support of Tinubu
*Warns against molestation of Northerners in South
*Insist they are ready to return any negative attack with potent positive reaction
By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The Arewa Youth Forum (AYF) has warned those calling for coup or interim national government ahead of the May 29 inauguration of President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to make a retreat, while tasking security agencies to arrest and prosecute those threatening the nation’s democracy.
AYF made the call in a statement signed by its acting national president, Ahmed Mohammed Zagi after a meeting held on yesterday, April 16, 2023 in Kaduna.
“We are also calling on all our security agencies to be alive to their responsibilities. It amounts to treason for anybody to call for truncating our democracy by whatever guises, be it Interim National Government let alone the call for a military coup.
“Perpetrators must be arrested and be brought to book with immediate effect!Meanwhile, arrangements for the handover ceremonies are in full swing,” the group said.
They insisted that, “the President-Elect will, by His Grace, take his Oath of Office as President of Federal Republic of Nigeria on May 29th, 2023,” they added.
The group said that the 2023 General elections exercise has come and gone with a few Bye-Elections.
” It is our position that this elections is by far the most credible, fair and freest Elections in our history as a nation.
“We at the Arewa Youth Forum, significantly note that the elections were so credible that it threw up some upsets in our otherwise settled demography. For the first time, 20 sitting Governors lost their states, mostly those of the ruling party.
“Seven Governors who sought elections into the Senate failed to scale through.
“This has never happened in the history of Nigeria. In addition and more evidently, the President-Elect lost his home state (Lagos State); the sitting President lost his home State (Katsina State); the Director-General of the Campaign lost his home state (Plateau State); the ruling Party Chairman lost his h (Nasarawa State); the Chairman of the ruling Party’s Governor Forum lost his home State (Kebbi State) and the ruling party lost some of its traditional strong holds like Yobe State, Kaduna State and Kano State respectively,” AYF said.
They explained that all these go to show that it was a keenly contested election and one of the most credible in our history.
“Also, and more heartwarming is the fact that the 2023 General elections has provided a level playing field for all political parties in such a manner that the APC and the leading opposition PDP had to struggle to win and other fringe political parties made huge and surprising gains by causing upsets in some areas.
“Political parties aside the two (2) major ones, the APC and the PDP have not been pocketed and relegated to the dustbin of history, their efforts have been allowed to manifest through the ballot and they have won seats in an unprecedented manner.
“The reports of some irregularities and violence in some polling units as reported, could not have affected the overall outcome of the elections too. There are 176,974 polling units in Nigeria and infractions and violence were recorded in less than one per cent of these units. How could these have affected the overall results of the elections?
“Whilst we look forward to an era when there would be no single casualty during elections in Nigeria, however, the statistics shows that 2023 recorded the lowest casualty rates ever. During the 1964/65 elections about 200 deaths were recorded as a result of election violence; 1993 election recorded 100 deaths; 1999 election recorded 80 deaths; 2003 polls recorded 100 deaths and 2007 polls recorded 300 deaths.
“The 2011 polls recorded 800 deaths, the 2015 polls recorded 100 deaths and the 2019 polls recorded 150 deaths. However, the 2023 polls recorded no more than 28 deaths as a result of election violence. So, the claim that this is the “worst” election so far is totally unfounded and baseless,” they pointed out.
They therefore, commended Professor Mahmud Yakubu for leading the INEC to display professionalism, sincerity of purpose and unquestionable integrity by delivering what they described as the best and keenly contested elections so far.
The AYF congratulated the President-elect His Excellency Jagaban Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Vice president-elect Kashim Shettima, and indeed other elected Governors, members of the Federal and state Assemblies.
“We dare say, Nigerians voted for them and expect them to govern in such a manner that selfless and pro-active delivery of Democracy dividends shall be on display moving forward.
“Conversely, we call on those that lost to accept defeat in the most honourable manner because Elections are contests like in sports, all contestants cannot win but only a few that the electorate decide they desire to serve them win at the end.
“Moving forward, our laws have provided for settled means by which election disputes are resolved. The aggrieved parties have taken advantage of this remedy by filing their cases in Court.
“We urge them to have faith in our judicial system and desist from spreading false tales about our election across the world.The courts are there to adjudicate on grievances as the constitution provide,” they advised.
AYF said that they are following with keen interest the unfolding anti Democracy activities, whereby Politicians that lost Elections and their cohorts are making extremely dangerous divisive, unguarded, outrightly false claims that this Elections was not credible, free and fair.
“Their vociferous agitations by themselves and their agents in the media seeking global attention and sympathy so that they can be provided with foreign funds, visas to stay in countries that claim to be Nigeria’s friends but work against its interests, is very divisive, unfortunate and treasonable.
“To these people, we say ENOUGH IS DEFINITELY ENOUGH! We don’t have any country but Nigeria and we shall expose, as well as face all negative anti Democracy elements within the political class and outside it,; as we are presently making preparations to organize a Youth driven Two million (2M) man march in the three Geo-political zones of Northern Nigeria in support of the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu /Kashim Shettima Presidency because Nigerians have spoken through the Ballot boxes and we shall resist all anti Democracy forces calling for and working towards an interim government or military intervention and fight them to a standstill,” they warned.
Meanwhile, the group further warned that they will not also accept the undue molestation of any Northerner for whatever reasons, anywhere in Nigeria as it happened in the past in some parts of the South.
“We are ready to return any negative attack with equally or more potent positive reaction that will counter it forthwith.
“We remain committed to the unity and corporate existence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” they assured.