Arewa Group Backs Obi, Affirms INEC’s Credibility To Conduct Credible Polls

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), has thrown its weight behind a comment credited to the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 elections, Mr. Peter Obi and restated its unwavering trust in the credibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

LEADERSHIP recalls that while speaking recently in Enugu during the 5th Justice Anthony Aniagolu Memorial Lecture, Obi said Nigerians of goodwill must join hands to dismantle rascality in the system and build a future that is acceptable to her citizens

“Whenever we talk about democracy, they will say the problem is INEC. But I tell you that it is not INEC. It is the judiciary. The Judiciary is the biggest threat to Nigeria. If our judiciary is effective, our businesses will thrive. Our judiciary has become transactional and depends on how much you pay. It has become difficult for people who don’t know people to get justice in the judiciary and at any point in time, where the judiciary is not working, the society suffers,” Obi had stated.

Corroborating the comment, the AYCF in a statement by its President General, Yerima Shettima, reiterated the longstanding belief of the group in INEC as a reputable institution that consistently upholds the principles of fairness, impartiality, and transparency in conducting elections.

It said Peter Obi’s acknowledgment that the judiciary, rather than INEC, poses the greatest challenge to Nigeria’s democracy, further strengthens its conviction in the integrity of the electoral body.

“The AYCF has long maintained that INEC is a credible, impartial, and unbiased institution that consistently conducts credible elections. Peter Obi’s remarks have vindicated our stance and affirmed that INEC is not the primary obstacle to democratic electoral practices in Nigeria.

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“We emphasised the importance of strong institutions like INEC in ensuring the integrity of Nigeria’s electoral process,” Shettima said.

He further highlighted the detrimental impact of the judiciary assuming the role of the sole arbiter in election matters.

“The AYCF firmly believes that strong and independent institutions such as INEC are essential in preserving the democratic fabric of our nation. The Forum recognises the critical role that INEC plays in upholding the will of the people through free, fair, and credible elections. We commend INEC for its dedication to ensuring the integrity of the electoral process and safeguarding the democratic rights of Nigerian citizens.

“It is our steadfast belief that any attempts to undermine the credibility of INEC or question its impartiality are detrimental to the progress of our democratic system,” he said.

The Arewa group’s leader further assured that the AYCF stands firm in its commitment to promoting transparency, accountability, and good governance in Nigeria’s electoral system, saying, “We will continue to advocate for the independence and effectiveness of INEC in carrying out its constitutional mandate.”

Furthermore, the AYCF condemned any undue interference or overreach by the judiciary in electoral affairs.

“We believe that the judiciary’s role in electoral matters should be limited to adjudicating legal disputes and upholding the rule of law, rather than assuming the primary responsibility for determining electoral outcomes.

“Such interference undermines the credibility and legitimacy of the electoral process and threatens the foundations of democracy in Nigeria,” Shettima said.

The group further called on all stakeholders, including political parties, civil society organisations and the media to support and uphold the independence of INEC in conducting free, fair, and credible elections.

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God'swill Ofigo
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