The Arewa Consultative Forum has said the 2023 presidential election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission is the freest and fairest since 1999.
This was as the organisation faulted the calls for the resignation of Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, saying they came from agents of destabilisation.
The ACF vowed to resist forces working to undermine the election that produced the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, as President-elect.
“INEC has given the 2023 elections its best shot by training and retraining of election officials, using the BVAS successfully in 90% of cases. As with elections anywhere in the world, INEC couldn’t have done a perfect job because in reality they cannot be completely infallible
“We say no to the forces of destabilisation of Nigeria who has 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 and Labour Party won many areas. PDP’s Atiku Abubakar lost his immediate constituency of Adamawa. It is very clear that this is comparatively the freest and fairest election since 1999. It is pointless crying foul where there is none.
“We call on men and women of good conscience to support the efforts of INEC to bequeath a good electoral legacy on the country. Imagine holding elections under a cashless policy, when there rural areas are without banks and ATM machines or have non-existent internet infrastructure.
“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 statement said.
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The ACF said it had tasked itself to work to preserve peace in Nigeria and ensure INEC was allowed to deliver on its mandate without any hindrance.
“We reject any deliberate ploy to cause crisis in the name of unsubstantiated allegations of rigging.
“We urge 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. We all have a duty as Nigerians to be patriotic enough to speak the truth and stand by peace, unity, and national stability,” the statement added.
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