As protests across the country continue to trail the declaration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the February 25th presidential election, a group under the aegis of the National Youth League for the Defence Of Democracy(NYLDD) has called on the United States Ambassador to Nigeria and British High Commission for a quick intervention.
Addressing journalists at the headquarters of the US Embassy in Abuja on Wednesday, the convener of the group, Comrade Anngu Orngu said the declaration of Bola Tinubu was a direct rape on Nigeria’s democracy as the election can not be described as credible, free or fair.
Recall that INEC had on Wednesday first of March declared Tinubu as the winner of election having scored 8,794,726 votes to defeat 17 other candidates who took part in the election. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar with a total of 6,984,520 votes came second while Peter Obi of the Labour Party came third in the election with a total of 6,101,533.
EVER SINCE THE DECLARATION, THE POLITICAL ATMOSPHERE OF THE COUNTRY HAS BEEN ROCKED WITH UNREST WITH LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS CALLING FOR THE REVIEW OF THE RESULTS.
The argument all along has been centred on the failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to adhere to the promise of uploading election results to its portal, otherwise known as IReV and other alleged electoral malpractices.
Anngu stated that the alleged failure on the part of INEC has dashed the hope of millions of Nigerians who trooped out to elect a leader they felt could liberate them from the current economy and security challenges bedeviling the nation.
The group staged a peaceful protest while singing solidarity songs with people carrying placards with the inscriptions like “Save our democracy”, “INEC is subverting the will of the people”, “The will of people dashed by INEC”, “Mahmood Yakubu, resign now.” Among others.
The convener who got emotional while giving his remarks therefore called on stakeholders to stand up and defend democracy for the sake of posterity.
“The protest is all about the rape on democracy in Nigeria, it is to register our displeasure over the conduct of INEC in the last presidential election that was held in the 25 of February, 2023 in Nigeria. We are here to register that the results of the election didn’t follow due process, the election is not credible, the result is an infraction on the right of Nigerians.
” We are here to also register that the result of that election was a direct rape on the will of Nigerians. That it did not reflect the will of the people. We have registered with the British High Commission to Nigeria, we write a very strong letter to them, detailing our grievances and we even made recommendations.
“We are also here to submit a letter to the American Ambassador to Nigeria because we believe that America is the cradle of democracy and as a people that believe in democracy we are out as peaceful Nigerians to say that they should intervene in saving our democracy because we went out to vote leaders that will bring prosperity to this land, not the present crop of leaders that have brought us poverty and hunger.
“We are here to say that we are peace loving, we love our country. We want the survival of this country, not just for ourselves but generations yet unborn. We are here not for ourselves but we are here to register that our country needs salvation, we need change, we have become hopeless in our nation and the only hope we had to give us credible leaders was dashed by INEC”
Anngu also went further by calling for the immediate resignation of the INEC chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu as the citizens have lost confidence in his integrity.
He added that INEC cannot be said to be independent again as the commision has allowed itself to be controlled by politicians for their selfish interest.
He also stated that since the case is already in court, the judiciary should prove itself as the last hope of a common man.
“We are here to also call for recommendation that Professor Mahmood Yakubu should resign immediately for he has shown that he’s a dishonourable man and he should therefore save himself and resign immediately.
” We also call for the cancellation of the election and that a supplementary election should be conducted. We understand that the parties involved are already in court, we are calling on the Nigerian judiciary that they should do the right thing.
“For now, we are peaceful but we can be pushed to the wall. We are conducting ourselves peacefully, so let the judiciary do the right thing, our judges should be incorruptible. We are calling on the Chief Justice of Nigeria that the honourable thing should be done, we want justice.” He lamented
Asked whether there is still hope for cancelation of the election since it has exceeded the 7 days window given by the constitution for a review, he said “We are in court, as we are here speaking this morning, I believe court proceedings are ongoing, so the parties involved are taking all the legal means for this electoral heist to be addressed” Anngu responded
On reason for calling on international organizations for intervention since the challenge is unique to Nigeria and the right body to contact should be INEC, he said “We are not just involving an international organization, the United States of America sits at the helm of the security council of the United Nations (UN), so speaking to the American leadership in Nigeria indirectly means you are speaking to the American government in Washington DC, it also means that we are speaking to the United Nations also because the US sits at the head of that table and Nigeria is a signatory to UN.
“We understand very well that Nigeria is a sovereign state, we are not calling on America to change our leadership but America has placed advisory roles all over the world in entrenching democracy, that is why we are here.
Reacting to the question on whether he still trusts INEC for the conduct of the forthcoming governorship and State House of Assemblies elections, Anngu said although Nigerians no longer trust INEC people should go out, vote and defend their votes.
“With what we have seen with INEC, the Nigerian people have lost hope , INEC has become dishonourable and we want to say that even that “I” which means independent should be taken away from that “INEC ” because they are no longer Independent and Nigerians have lost confidence in them to conduct credible, free and fair election.
“So moving into March 18th elections, we want to call on Nigerians not to be discouraged, we are not going to give up on our country, still go out there and exercise your franchise. Vote and defend your vote, take pictures of the form EE8 and make sure you circulate them widely” He concluded