By Abubakar Yunus
The Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF), has lauded the conduct of the Off-cycle governorship polls held in Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa states.
According to the AYCF President Yerima Shettima, the elections were free, fair, and credible thanks to the efforts of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Shettima also praised the INEC Chairman Mahmoud Yakubu for ensuring that the polls were flawless and that the integrity of the Commission was restored.
“The AYCF also notes that the voters in Kogi State had rejected the tradition of relying on handouts and instead chose a competent successor to continue with Yahaya Bello’s leadership that would provide a more secure future for their children.
“We are pleased to associate with the outcome of the election, which was patently transparent and credible. The election results were a clear reflection of the will of the people, and we are confident that they will serve as a model for future elections,” said the AYCF President.
AYCF noted that despite the concerns of some, the election was conducted in a fair and impartial manner, with all parties given a fair chance to participate, saying the result of the election could only have been rejected by people who would have decided to destroy the state if they were not winners.
“We would like to commend all of the voters who participated in the election, as well as the security personnel, volunteers and election officials who worked tirelessly to ensure that the process ran smoothly.
“In Kogi State in particular, the political elites and voters have closed ranks in a display of unity, with the exception of those whose personal ambitions are tied to the continuation of decay and destruction of a state and its people.
“The people of Kogi have swung a surprise by rejecting the tradition of violence during elections. Instead, the poor, young, and Kogi women have chosen to support the continuation of the Yahaya Bello leadership that promises to make them more secure and provide their children with a productive future.
“The election saw the victory of popular will over desperate attempts to subvert it, and the people of Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa are jubilant as the credible conduct of the elections by Mahmoud Yakubu and INEC ensured that the states did not go up in flames over disputed elections. The people’s celebrations went beyond mere relief to the possibility that Kogi, with a competent successor to Yahaya Bello, could look forward to a future where the young will get a good education, acquire skills, and gain jobs.”