Ohanaeze Youths Reject Anti-INEC Protest

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The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide has dissociated itself from a planned protest against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its chairman, Professor Yakubu Mahmood.

A group, the South Unity Youth Coalition had announced a mass protest scheduled for Nigeria’s Democracy Day, June 12, to demand the removal of Professor Yakubu, citing a compromised electoral process under his leadership.

However, in a statement issued on Monday, June 10, 2024, the National President of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, faulted the ongoing dissent surrounding the 2023 elections.

Nnabuike expressed concern that, “Instead, what we have continued to see is that politicians and some of their paid agents have continued to fan embers of discord in the country owing to the outcome of the elections.

“We have said for the umpteenth time, that there is no perfect election anywhere in the world.

“Our appeal to our brother, His Excellency Mr. Peter Obi, is to accept not just the outcome of the election, but the verdict of the apex court in the land, the Supreme Court.

“In the case of the 2023 election, without sounding biased, it is a wrong conclusion for anyone to say that the INEC performed woefully. This cannot be so, when the court upheld the majority of the elections, and in some of the cases where elections were annulled, it had to do with candidates’ qualifications and some other issues that could not be blamed on the INEC,” Nnabuike said.

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He urged politicians, including the 2023 Labour Party’s presidential candidate to accept the election results and support President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

He emphasised the need to unite and move forward rather than fueling discord among the Nigerian citizens.

The youth leader also acknowledged the imperfections of elections worldwide and defended INEC’s performance, noting that the courts upheld most election results.

Nnabuike urged against any protests, stating that Igbo youths will not support actions that destabilise the country.

He further expressed the council’s support for the Tinubu’s government and the electoral reforms through the National Assembly.

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