From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Group, Unified Nigerian Youth Forum (UNWF) on Friday warned that those calling for the removal of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu have plans to scuttle the 2023 elections in the country.
Addressing newsmen at the popular Arewa House Kaduna, President of the forum, Comrade Abdulsalam Mohammed Kazeem said with the passage of the electoral law which gives room for improvement in the country’s electioneering process, the INEC plans to use Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) was already a shocker for those who were used to rigging during election which will not possible in the next year’s election.
According to him, despite the giant strides recorded under Mahmood especially in the area of deploying cutting edge technology such as BVAS for credible, fair and transparent elections as well as voter mobilisation and enlightenment, some groups and individuals have chosen to be deaf and blind to these realities.
To him, “the activities of certain groups of persons purporting to be promoting the interest of the north and Nigeria, but, working for the enemies of the country. These persons have continued to falsely accuse and demand the resignation and sack of the INEC boss for carrying out his mandate. We believe that those behind this charade are nothing but paid agents and goons of selfish and unpatriotic politicians seeking to manipulate next year’s general elections at all cost.
“We dispel in strong terms the rumours making rounds that the INEC boss and his management team have morally compromised because of pressure from political parties to deactivate BVAS. For the record, BVAS and all the electoral reforms currently in place have been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC majority National Assembly.
“It is inconceivable to say that the APC or any political party is pressuring INEC. It is again not true that INEC and indeed Prof. Mahmood have been pressured by anybody to deactivate or stop the use of the BVAS they introduced in fulfilment of the president’s promise of delivering a transparent election in 2023. INEC is established by law and has a law guiding its activities which means no individual can wake up and decide to deactivate the use of BVAS when the law says it should be deployed.
“We are equally worried and concerned with the barefaced lie in some quarters that 15,000 foreigners were registered in September alone in the ward of the current Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma. Nothing can be more misleading and dishonest than this claim especially now that INEC has recently sanitised the voter register with more than 2 million double registrants expunged.
‘We must take this opportunity to laud Mr. President and the APC led National Assembly for massively supporting reforms in the electoral body to ensure transparent, credible and fair elections, hence, Nigerians should therefore, commend and support INEC towards discharging their mandate next year without paying attention to naysayers who are out to destabilize the country with their concocted lies.
“Having said that, we on behalf of our members hereby pass a vote of confidence on the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood and his teams for being worthy ambassadors of our Nation. We call on all and sundry to mobilise and support the commission towards the conduct of 2023 General elections which we believe, will be the best in the history of Nigeria”.