March 23, 2023

Anti-Tinubu protesters ground Abuja, demand interim govt, fresh polls


… want US to revoke visas of 15 RECs

By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja

Fresh protests, on Thursday, rocked the nation’s capital, Abuja, over the just concluded elections, with protesters kicking against the May 29 inauguration of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and instead demanding the invocation of an Interim National Government, ING.

They asked Presidential Muhammadu Buhari to put the ING in place before he leaves office on May 29.

The angry Nigerians, who protested on the platform of the National Youth League for the Defence of Democracy, NYLDD, also demanded the immediate sack and arrest of the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu by the Department Security Services, DSS.

Armed with various placards with different inscriptions, they also asked several foreign embassies in Nigeria to immediately revoke the visas of 15 INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners RECs.

The RECs they want to be sanctioned are those of Lagos, Rivers, Borno, Zamfara, Niger, Jigawa, Kano and Imo. Others are Ebonyi, Ekiti, Ogun, Oyo, Cross River, Katsina and Edo States.

Addressing journalists at the Unity Fountain, where the protest started, one of the leaders of the group, Dr Moses Paul, said the interim government is expected to appoint a new INEC chairman and conduct a fresh election that will produce a befitting President for Nigeria.

He said; “We are citizens of Nigeria, lovers of Nigeria, standing on the path of our constitution and citizens’ rights.

“We are here particularly to address the greatest crime that has happened in the history of the world and in Nigeria.

“People were burnt in Kano, people were shot in Rivers, and we have seen the greatest inhumanity happen in Lagos state in the course of this election.

“Two demands we are making; we are asking the President of this country to immediately arrest and prosecute the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who has committed the greatest fraud in the history of humanity.

“We need him arrested and prosecuted.

“Our number two demand is that we are asking that an interim government be put in place. We are saying that, because we do not want President Muhammadu Buhari to continue, his tenure is ending, so as a father he should put in place an interim government so that the interim government will now appoint another INEC chairman who will conduct a free and credible election and produce a befitting President for our country.”

When asked to provide other options if the two demands were not met, one of the co-conveners, Anngu Orngu, said they are harmless Nigerians “but we will use every other civil and lawful means to make sure that our demands are met”.

“We are here as frustrated Nigerians and the fundamental rights of Nigerians have been trampled upon by Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC and we are here calling for his immediate resignation.

“We have also requested that DSS should arrest him, and he should be prosecuted by the EFCC.

“We have been to the US Embassy, we have been to the British Council in Nigeria, and we have also submitted a letter to the French Embassy, calling on them to advise the Nigerian government that the Nigerian people are not happy.

“We the young people of this country are not happy over what is happening in our country. We may be peaceful now but when you push even a goat to the wall, the goat may bite,” he added.

In one of the letters made available to journalists and addressed to the United States Embassy, the protesters called for sanctions against the INEC Chairman.