The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF, on Sunday declared that the 2023 presidential election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Feb. 25, is the freest and fairest since 1999.
AYCF took this stand in a statement issued in Lagos by its president, Yerima Shettima.
The organisation also described those calling for the resignation of Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, chairman of INEC, as agents of destabilisation.
The presidential election of February 25 produced Bola Tinubu of the APC as the winner, while Atiku Abubakar of the PDP and Peter Obi of the Labour Party came second and third, respectively.
The AYCF statement reads in part: “INEC has given the 2023 elections its best shot by training and retraining election officials, using the BVAS successfully in 90% of cases. As with elections anywhere in the world, INEC could not have done a perfect job because, in reality, they cannot be completely infallible.
“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.
“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 [State] and the Labour Party won many areas. PDP’s Atiku Abubakar lost his immediate constituency of Adamawa [State]. It’s very clear that this is comparatively the freest and fairest election since 1999. It’s pointless crying fouls where there is none.
“It’s obvious that the INEC officials made enormous sacrifices under the current economic and national security challenges to hold successful presidential and National Assembly elections.”
This is coming less than a week before the governorship and state house of assembly elections scheduled for March 18.