The Progressive Abia Youths (PAY) a non partisan, non-governmental agency with vast number of youths spread across the 17 LGAs of Abia State has demanded that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should reject every attempt to declare the Abia State election inconclusive or force a rerun.

The position was made on Tuesday during a world press conference in Umuahia, Abia State.

According to a statement signed and released by Ekejiuba Daberechi Kingsley, the President General of PAY, said such decision by INEC will further deepen the pain of voters who mustered the courage to come out en-masse to cast their vote despite the outcome of the February 25 national assembly and presidential election in the country.

The group also argued that they “have extracted all the polling unit governorship election results from Obingwa on the IREV portal, and as it stands, 81% of the results (252 out of 312 polling units) have been successfully uploaded on the portal.

PAY also holds the position that “BVAS worked excellently well in Obingwa, as attested by 74 of our members who worked as ad-hoc staff in Obingwa LGA” which was said that it was instrumental in the successful conduct of elections in the LGA, which produced two house of assembly members-elect from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)”.

The group also pleaded that Abia politicians should not set the state on fire for they will hold them accountable for it.

“We have no other place to call home but here. Above all things, the peace and progress of Abia should be your utmost priority.” The group said.

See full press release below 👇

P.A.Y PRESS STATEMENT ON ABIA STATE GOVERNORSHIP AND STATE ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS 21/03/2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The Progressive Abia Youths is a non-partisan, non-governmental, youth-led organization with vast membership spread across the 17 LGAS in Abia State. We represent a disruptive generational entity designed to engage, empower, enlighten, and equip the youths to create and maximize opportunities for self and National Development. We are the present and future of Abia State and Nigeria.

  1. WHAT WE HAVE DONE

Realizing the need for our generation to take a front seat in state and national affairs, we partnered with INEC and other NGOS (African Primary Healthcare Foundation. Nigerian Physicians Advocacy Group (NPAG). 100 Igbos Inc.. The Compatriots. Organization for Impact and Reform (OFIAR). Ready to Lead Africa. Shift Nigeria. Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA). Living by Design,and Exalt Nigeria) to register more than 74,000 voters, give medical screening to more than 50.000 Abians, distribute over 150.000 PVCs, and provide adequate voter education to over 500.000 voters in Abia State. Our interventions were brazenly visible in 17 LGAS. 184 wards, and over 1,500 villages in Abia State. In driving this intervention, we took our destinies into our own hands.

  1. THE PROCESS
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It has taken us 1 year, 1 month, and 24 days to effect this change in Abia, and this was only possible because we trusted the technological advancements including the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the Election Result Viewing Portal (IREV)) introduced into our electoral system. To buttress this, we accompanied our National Commissioner (Barr. Festus Okoye) to conduct mock accreditation and test the efficacy of the Bimodal Accreditation System (BVAS) in Abia State on the 4th of February 2023, an exercise that raised our hopes and endeared the National Commissioner and INEC to Abia youths.

  1. 2023 GOVERNORSHIP AND STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS

Contrary to the poor outing on February 25, 2023, INEC Abia State made a good show of themselves on March 18, 2023. To INEC’s credit, the governorship and state house of assembly elections conducted on the 18th of March 2023 remain the best state elections ever conducted in Abia State since her creation in 1991. Despite pockets of security breaches, the election was largely peaceful: polls were opened very early, people voted without stress, BVAS was used to accredit voters in all 4050 polling units, results were successfully uploaded on the IREV portal (online and offline), and our people voted and stayed back to ensure that their votes counted. Save for the poor turnout of voters (voter apathy was above 80%), the state election was peaceful, and the outcome represents the will of the people of Abia State.

  1. CONTROVERSIES SURROUNDING OBINGWA LGA RESULTS

We appreciate the intervention of INEC on the unfortunate incidence arising from the governorship election held in Obingwa Local Government Area on March 18, 2023. While we prepare to welcome our National Commissioner (Barr. Festus Okoye) and his team to Abia to review the results from Obingwa, we wish to state the following:

  1. We have extracted all the polling unit governorship election results from Obingwa on the IREV portal, and as it stands, 81% of the results (252 out of 312 polling units) have been successfully uploaded on the portal.
  2. Voter turnout in Obingwa was terribly low; only about 18% of voters in Obingwa turned out to vote, as witnessed all over the state.
  3. The BVAS worked excellently well in Obingwa, as attested by 74 of our members who worked as ad-hoc staff in Obingwa LGA. This was instrumental in the successful conduct of elections in the LGA, which produced two house of assembly members-elect from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
  4. We congratulate the two house of assembly members-elect that emerged victorious and thank them for affirming the obvious fact that the election was well carried out in Obingwa; we however encourage them to be magnanimous in victory.
  5. CONCLUSION
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Having acknowledged the importance of technology in our electoral system, we call on INEC to fully utilize the BVAS (Bimodal Voter Accreditation and Transmission) in the review of the Obingwa results.

We call on INEC to reject every attempt to declare the Abia State election inconclusive or force a rerun because this will further deepen the pain of voters who mustered the courage to come out and vote after the abject outing of INEC Abia State on February 25, 2023. Any attempt to subvert the will of Abia people will lead to anarchy, and we don’t want that.

In every election, there will always be winners and learners. We therefore call on those who lost out in the election to learn from the experience, respect the will of Abia people.

and appreciate INEC for a job well done. The beauty of true democracy is displayed in the glamorous advance of public opinion

translated into votes at the ballot box.

Abia Politicians! Don’t set our state on fire; we will not leave you if you do. We have no other place to call home but here. Above all things, the peace and progress of Abia should be your utmost priority.

For us, a progressive Abia with progressive Abia youths remains our ultimate goal.

CC:

INEC HQ

INEC Abia State PDP Abia State APC Abia State Labour Party Abia State APGA Abia State IPAC Abia State EUOM YIAGA Africa US Embassy Abuja The Police HQ Abuja. The Nigerian Military

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