Youth protest INEC’s refusal to conduct bye-election in Akwa Ibom

Chairman of INEC Prof, Mahmood Yakubu

Youths of Oron Union in Oron Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State had stormed the premises of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, along Udom Udoma Avenue Uyo in protest of what they described as ‘delay or tactical refusal’ by the commission to conduct a bye-election to fill the vacant office of the federal constituency.

The position was left vacant after the demise of Nse Ekpenyong, a former House of Representatives Member for the Oron Federal Constituency who died on April 23, eight months ago and his seat declared vacant on June 30 by the Speaker during his internment.

The youths of the area in a protest on Wednesday lamented that the absence of representation had deprived them of many benefits and rights from the National Assembly accusing the electoral umpire of nonchalance in conducting a bye-election in the area.

Displaying placards with various inscriptions such as “INEC sabotaging our constitutional benefits for 8 months of no representation, ‘Oron Federal Constituency deserves a Representative from National Assembly in Abuja, ‘We need a voice at the National Assembly,” among others, the youths urged the INEC National Chairman, Prof Yakubu Mahmood to ensure that the bye-election is conducted immediately in the federal Constituency.

The youths described the federal constituency as the largest in Nigeria with the highest oil producing communities in the Niger Delta.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, the International president of the group, Mr John Bassey flanked by the secretary, Maxi Mkpo recalled that INEC sometime in January conducted bye-elections for six constituencies in four states of the federation and wondered why Akwa Ibom would be different.

The statement read in parts, “Today, we are gathered here to send a very strong signal to the Chairman of National Electoral Commission INEC Prof, Mahmood Yakubu over this perceived cruel disenfranchisement and broad daylight robbery of our constitutionally and democratically given right to representation at the green Chambers of the National Assembly, Abuja.



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