A youth group, Kogi New Generation (KNG) has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting what it described as “the most peaceful and credible” governorship election in Kogi.
The Convener of the group, Mr Richard Otitoleke gave the commendation during the group’s solidarity visit to INEC headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday.
Otitoleke also commended the security agencies for working in synergy with the commission to ensure a peaceful election in Kogi .
“We are here to affirm to INEC that you have done well in Kogi. We are also commending the Nigerian Army for a job well done in Kogi .
“We commend the Nigerian Civil Defence, the Nigeria Police and all law enforcement agencies that joined hands with INEC to ensure a peaceful and credible election in Kogi.
“We are here to protect the integrity of INEC because when we protect INEC, our electoral processes will be protected and our credibility as a country is protected.
“We don’t need to malign the institution (INEC) although there is room for improvement as we proceed. We thank INEC for improving on our electoral process through technological innovations that had been introduced over time.
“We believe that by the time we proceed further, we will have zero tolerance for anomalies in our elections,” Otitoleke said.
He, however, warned against inciting the public against INEC, saying the right thing for any aggrieved person who contested in an election and lost to do, was to approach the Election Petition Tribunal.
He said there were certain issues and factors that INEC did not have control over in an election.
“We want to appreciate INEC for the synergy and collaboration with security agencies that brought about one of the most peaceful elections in Kogi.
“In the past, we have witnessed worst elections but this Nov. 11 election was one of the most peaceful elections in Kogi.
“We want to say unequivocally that a candidate who clinched the third position in such an election does not have the moral right or justification to begin to incite people against the Nigerian police and INEC.
“He should go to the tribunal for redress if he is aggrieved, and not to go to a television station and begin to malign the personality and leadership of INEC,” Otitoleke said.
Also speaking, the Director General, Ododo/Joel Campaign Organisation in Koton Karfe (Kogi) Mr Muhammad Shuaib, said they were at INEC to commend it over the Saturday election in Kogi.
“INEC is an institution that we respect. For the election held in Kogi, INEC has done very well. We don’t have any doubts.
“Whoever is accusing INEC is not from Kogi. We are here to give solidarity. INEC has done a very wonderful job. We are here to show our support for INEC.
“We are not here to speak on behalf of sectional interests in Kogi but we are here on the Kogi agenda. Whoever is coming here to demonstrate and accuse INEC is on his own,” Shuaib said.
Addressing the group, INEC National Commissioner, retired Maj.-Gen. Abubakar Alkali commended the youths for conducting themselves with decorum.
Alkali assured them that INEC would never waver in its determination to always do the right thing.
“We want to commend you for coming in a peaceful manner to ventilate whatever is on your mind. That is democracy. INEC is not a political party. INEC has no particular candidate for any election.
“INEC is for Nigerians. The vision of INEC is to be one of the best election management bodies in the world and to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.
“We operate based on the constitution. We have our rules and regulations, and we don’t operate outside that. INEC will never waver in its responsibility to do the right thing at all times. Nigeria belongs to all of us,” Alkali said.
With Alkali to receive the youth were the INEC National Commissioner, Mohammed Haruna, and Secretary to the Commission, Mrs Rose Orianran-Anthony. (NAN)
November 16, 2023 @ 7:10 GMT|