ANPP CHIEFTAIN AFFIRMS CONFIDENCE IN INEC TO CONDUCT CREDIBLE POLLS
Despite the postponement occasioned by logistic factors preventing the National Assembly polls from holding last Saturday, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has affirmed that it has confidence in the Prof. Attahiru Jega- led Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct credible elections across the federation.
The assurance was given in Lagos yesterday by the party's Director, Youth Affairs, Chief Okey Nwoke during the formal endorsement of Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau as its candidate for the presidential polls by a youths group, Intellectual Coalition for Bafawara.
Nwoke argued that the party at all levels remained convinced that Jega was capable of conducting free and fair elections based on his credibility, which the party believed was not in doubt.
Besides, he said the various steps taken by the INEC umpire in past months were a pointer to the fact that Jega remained committed to conducting a free and fair poll devoid of rancour, adding that, though some little hiccups should be expected since ours was still an evolving democracy.
'We should realise that there is no perfect election anywhere in the world. Likewise, it should also be noted that the electoral body is coming from a background that had hitherto been associated with massive election rigging. 'But for us, we believe INEC has the capacity to conduct elections in a free and fair manner compared to what we have had in the past,'he said.
On youths, Okey maintained that youths constitute about 60 percent of the country's population, lamenting that he did not understand why successive governments had relegated youths to the background. He explained that since the youths remained the leaders of tomorrow, then it behooved on governments at all levels to involve them in the scheme of things, especially as it related to governance.
The youths director stressed that if ANPP was elected into office, one of its cardinal objectives would be to focus on youths development through massive creation of jobs, saying Shekarau was part of efforts to realise the initiative had been meeting with youth groups and coalitions across the country, the latest of all, he said, would be holding next week with a meeting of all students groups.
Earlier in his address, the coordinator of the youths coalition, the convener of the meeting, Mr. Nwokolo Peter John stated that the group was initially formed to garner support for former Sokoto State governor, Mallam Attahiru Bafawara but he could not secure a nomination ticket under any political party to realise his presidential ambition, the group decided to transfer the support for Shekarau, having studied his antecedents.
Also, he maintained that the country at this point in time needed a formidable team that could wrest power from the PDP-led government which, he said, had not provided the kind of leadership needed to turn around the fortunes of the country as it related more with youths in governance. All this, he said, the group had realised in Shekarau, believing that, if given the opportunity to govern the country, he would no doubt provide meaningful and purpose-driven leadership.