Monday, March 27, 2023

2023 presidential poll ‘freest, fairest election’, Arewa group says

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has described the February 25 presidential election as the “freest and fairest” in Nigeria since 1999.

• March 13, 2023
Bola Tinubu, Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar
Bola Tinubu, Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has described the February 25 presidential election as the “freest and fairest” in Nigeria since 1999.

In a statement by its national president, Yerima Shettima, the group posited that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) gave its best during the election process and that the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) was largely successful.

“Comparatively, the 2023 presidential election recently conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is the freest and fairest since 1999,” said the group. “It is obvious that the INEC officials made enormous sacrifices under the current economic and national security challenges to hold successful presidential and National Assembly elections.”

The Arewa group insisted that INEC gave the 2023 elections “its best shot by training and retraining of election officials, using the BVAS successfully in 90 per cent of cases.”

It added, “For those who are crying wolf over claims of election rigging, they need to have a rethink because APC’s Bola Tinubu lost in his immediate constituency of Lagos, and Labour Party won many areas. PDP’s Atiku Abubakar lost his immediate constituency in Adamawa,” reiterating that “it is very clear that this is comparatively the freest and fairest election since 1999” and “pointless crying foul where there is none.”

The Peoples Democratic Party, the Labour Party and others have called for the resignation of INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu. They are also challenging the election results in court.

But the AYCF called those demanding Mr Yakubu’s resignation “forces of destabilisation.”

“We say no to the forces of destabilisation of Nigeria who have been calling for the resignation of INEC chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, without any cogent reason,” the group noted.

The group condemned a “deliberate ploy to cause crisis in the name of unsubstantiated allegations of rigging,” urging 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.”

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