The Northern Youths Council of Nigeria (NYCN), has alleged sabotage by members of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure the 2023 general election does not hold.
The youths said the recent declaration by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu that over 45 per cent of the newly completed registered PVCs will be invalid due to incomplete data captured by the Staff of the Commission.
A joint statement issued by Isah Abubakar and Mock Kure, President Director-General of the group said, “It is no longer news that preparations towards 2023 general elections are in top gear in Nigeria following the signing of the Amended Electoral Act into law by President Muhammadu Buhari and subsequent release of Election timetable by the electoral umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The statement added, “It is also a known fact that continuous voter registration is in top gear too, with INEC making the shocking revelation that over 45% of the Newly completed registered PVCs will be invalid due to incomplete data captured by Staff of the Commission.”
The Northern Youths Council of Nigeria believes this is not an error but a clear case of sabotage by members of a Commission that holds the key to the country’s national unity which must not go unpunished.
The group said if Professor Yakubu is worthy of the title, the youths expect him to tender his resignation in the days ahead as they will continue to cast doubt on every move he makes because he has betrayed the trust they had in him.
According to the statement, most states in the Northwest and few others in Northcentral had reasons to shut down telecommunications Networks to enable the military carry out operations to rid the regions of bandits, stressing that this hampered the registrations for several weeks.
We have waited patiently for INEC to announce an extension of registration in all LGAs affected as we are in the last quarter of the Continuous Voters Registration, nothing of such has been done or said,” the group observed.
To make the situation worse, the statement explained that the commission has stopped the ongoing registration in some Local Government Areas in Northern Nigeria under the guise of Security threats, stressing that there is no local government that is enveloped with security threats like Borno and Yobe, wherein the Commission went ahead and conducted elections in 2011, 2015, and 2019.
The youths called on the Northern Caucus of the National Assembly to initiate a probe of the Commission to unravel any sinister motive against the region since the Chairman of INEC has decided to present himself as unworthy of the North.
It also called on the INEC Management to quickly resign and pave way for serious-minded Nigerians to take charge and conduct a credible election.
The statement noted that where the Commission fails to give the affected region level playing ground by compensating for the time lost during the military operation, it said an Interim National Government should be set until the region gets fair treatment from the electoral umpire.
The statement called on INEC to resort to manual accreditation pending on when the affected 1.3 million potential voters will correct their details, pointing out that it is no fault of theirs that INEC staff couldn’t capture, hence, they can’t pay for the sins of poorly trained INEC officials.
The youths urged all eligible voters to continue to present themselves for registration despite what they termed “the satanic moves” by INEC to deny them their right to vote in the next leaders of the country.