Afenifere Faults INEC, Insists Nigerians Elected Peter Obi Not Tinubu
The Pan Yoruba Socio-Political Group, Afenifere, has carpeted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for awarding the presidential election of February 25 to the All Progressive Congress, APC’s Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, insisting the contest was won by Labour Party, LP’s Peter Obi.
Afenifere expressed full support for Obi challenging the decision in court.
In a communiqué issued after its Special General Meeting at Isanya-Ogbo, Ogun State, on Tuesday, the group said it had not mandated anyone to congratulate Tinubu as President-Elect.
The communiqué, which was signed by its National leader and Secretary General, Pa Ayo Adebanjo and Chief Sola Ebiseni, said “the results of the lawful votes at the election available to the Afenifere through credible sources confirm that His Excellency Peter Gregory Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, won the said election and we thus support his decision challenging the contrary Declaration by the INEC.
”The General Meeting hereby denounce in strong terms and dissociate Afenifere from any congratulatory message in the name of the Organisation or howsoever to any candidate as illegally declared by the INEC.
”Afenifere reiterates that for equity, fairness, national cohesion and peaceful corporate existence, the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a person of its Southern part and specifically the South East.
”We call on Nigerians to troop out en masse and participate fully in the Gubernatorial and Houses of Assembly elections slated for the 11th March 2023.
“That with particular reference to Lagos State, Afenifere confirms that the Governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour is a person of Yoruba origin, whose great- grandparents are not only Yoruba but definitely one of the notable founding families of Lagos.
“We unequivocally endorse and urge the people of Lagos to vote for him.”
The group lamented INEC’s failure to comply with the commission’s own guidelines, saying it encouraged “electoral brigandage” at the polling units.
Afenifere noted the “destruction of ballot papers, snatching of ballot boxes, doctoring of figures and swapping of votes of candidates at the coalition centres through the amended and outlawed manual procedures which rendered the 25th February 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections flawed in several respects as confirmed by local and international observers.”
It went on to demand that INEC ensure free and credible Gubernatorial and Houses of Assembly elections in accordance with the Constitution, the extant Electoral Act and its mandatory Guidelines.
Afenifere assured “That in accordance with the hallowed Yoruba culture of civilised conduct, Afenifere assures all persons resident in Yorubaland, indigenes and non-indigenes, of protection in the conduct of their lawful duties and particularly the free exercise of the rights to vote for candidates of their choice in all elections and thus warn all threats mongers and merchants of violence to desist therefrom.”
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