The Progressive Abia Youths(PAY), a non-governmental organization has warned that any form of manipulation and rigging by stakeholders will not be accepted during Saturday March 18,2023 gubernatorial and state House of Assembly elections in Abia State.
The warning was given by Ekejiuba Daberechi Kingsley the President General of PAY while addressing newsmen in Umuahia on Friday.
The non governmental organisation made the statement when they took their sensitisation to the streets and communities in Abia State to encourage and sensitize Abians on the importance of coming out en-masse to cast their votes for their preferred candidate despite the outcome of the controversial February 25, 2023 National Assembly and Presidential election in the country.
In Umuahia, the capital of Abia State, the group took their rally to major streets and markets as well as the 17 local government areas of Abia state for massive awareness and encouragement towards participating in Saturday’s polls.
The group known for championing good governance urged Abians not to lose hope in the election process and allow incompetent candidates to govern them as their permanent voters card PVC is the power to vote in credible candidates and vote out incompetent leaders.
Ekejiuba said apart from sensitizing the electorate, the group also wants “Peaceful and credible election”.
Ekejiuba called on security agencies to be more alert to the antics of thugs and politicians who want to manipulate the election process for selfish gains. He also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state to desist from any form of manipulation for it won’t be accommodated.
In his own words: “We are saying tomorrow’s election is very important to us and we will not tolerate or accommodate any form of manipulation, rigging and electoral malpractice. We are calling on all the stakeholders across board, INEC management at the state level, the presiding officers working at the state level, the Collation officers that will collate the results, and the returning officers that will announce the results. We are saying this time, they should accept the will of Abia people, this time our vote must count.
“The era when people will vote and their vote won’t count is gone. Abia youths in their numbers will not tolerate any form of manipulation tomorrow, we are asking everybody involved to play according to the rules, we are not representing any political party, but we represent the interest of the youths”.
He also added that the election is not just about the youths but for the next generation, thus, any form of manipulation, rigging will not be accepted.
Ekejiuba also revealed that PAY partnered with INEC to distribute more than one hundred and fifty thousand PVCs in Abia State. He also added that the group also employed the services of town criers and had meetings with religious groups to sensitive the electorate on the importance of shielding fear and discouragement and come out to cast their votes.
Ekejiuba also appealed to Abia youths to be law abiding throughout the election period and pleaded with INEC and politicians to do justice to the process.