Elections: INEC’s credibility, impartiality intact – AYCF

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has reiterated its unwavering trust in the credibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) following recent comments made by presidential candidate Peter Obi of the Labour Party.

In a statement issued by Yerima Shettima, President General of the AYCF, the Forum reiterated its longstanding belief that INEC is a reputable institution that consistently upholds the principles of fairness, impartiality, and transparency in conducting elections.

“Peter Obi’s acknowledgment that the judiciary, rather than INEC, poses the greatest challenge to Nigeria’s democracy, further strengthens our conviction in the integrity of INEC,” the statement said.

The AYCF has long maintained that INEC is a credible, impartial, and unbiased institution that consistently conducts credible elections.

“Peter Obi’s remarks have vindicated our stance and affirmed that INEC is not the primary obstacle to democratic electoral practices in Nigeria.

“We emphasized the importance of strong institutions like INEC in ensuring the integrity of Nigeria’s electoral process. He further highlighted the detrimental impact of the judiciary assuming the role of the sole arbiter in election matters.

“The AYCF firmly believes that strong and independent institutions such as INEC are essential in preserving the democratic fabric of our nation. The Forum recognizes the critical role that INEC plays in upholding the will of the people through free, fair, and credible elections.

“We commend INEC for its dedication to ensuring the integrity of the electoral process and safeguarding the democratic rights of Nigerian citizens. It is our steadfast belief that any attempts to undermine the credibility of INEC or question its impartiality are detrimental to the progress of our democratic system.

“The AYCF stands firm in its commitment to promoting transparency, accountability, and good governance in Nigeria’s electoral system. We will continue to advocate for the independence and effectiveness of INEC in carrying out its constitutional mandate,” the statement said.

“Furthermore, the AYCF condemns any undue interference or overreach by the judiciary in electoral affairs. We believe that the judiciary’s role in electoral matters should be limited to adjudicating legal disputes and upholding the rule of law, rather than assuming the primary responsibility for determining electoral outcomes. Such interference undermines the credibility and legitimacy of the electoral process and threatens the foundations of democracy in Nigeria,” AYCF said.

The AYCF called on all stakeholders, including political parties, civil society organisations, and the media, to support and uphold the independence of INEC in conducting free, fair, and credible elections, while also urging all Nigerians to remain vigilant and actively participate in the electoral process to safeguard the democratic principles upon which our nation is founded.