The Itsekiri National Youth Council, INYC has said that since the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has failed to honour the court judgment delivered in Benin, Edo State, they will disrupt the 2023 election in Warri South Local Government Area of the State.
INYC, President Mr. Weyinmi Agbateyiniro yesterday during a protest in Abuja at the Unity Fountain made the disclosure while demanding that the INEC leadership must address them within three days or they will continue to occupy the venue until They are attended to.
According to him, as of 1999, Warri South had 10 electoral wards shared between Itsekiri people and other ethnic groups that make up the local government, but INEC ‘mischievously’ merged some of the wards dominated by Itsekiri and divided those of the non-Itsekiri to increase the number to 12 electoral wards so as to give the other groups undue political advantage over the Itsekiri people.
Agbateyiniro revealed that they went to court against INEC and others where the judgment was in their favour, but INEC refused to honour the judgement delivered since the 19th of May 2006 before the Honourable Justice P.F. Olayiwola of the Federal High Court, Benin Judicial Division.
The Itsekiri National Youth Council who further presented a copy of a letter written to INEC chairman on 4th January 2019 requesting INEC to revert to the earlier 10 electoral wards instead of the 12, alleged that INEC has neither obeyed the court ruling nor honoured a memorandum they both entered ahead of 2019, in the interest of fairness, justice, and equity.
According to Agbateyiniro,” since INEC is a creation of the law, disobeying subsisting court judgments is an indication of taking a side in the matter, even at that we are counting strongly on you to do the needful by using only materials recognizing these 10 ward structures to conduct elections in Warri South Local Government Area.
“This Council shall resist any attempt to use illegal wards to conduct elections in Warri South Local Government Area”.
“The protest is simultaneous. going on at INEC office in Warri adding that they were in Abuja to register their protest at the Unity Fountain instead INEC premises because of security issues”.