Youths in Akwa Ibom State have staged a protest in Uyo demanding politicians and their respective political parties to organise free, fair and credible elections in the forthcoming party primaries.
During the protest, the youths who matched round the major streets in the state capital carrying placards with various inscriptions such as: “We demand free and fair elections,” “Give us a level playing field,” “Let the popular candidate win”, “No, to imposition”, “Akwa Ibom belongs to all.” stressed they were poised to set new and better standard for electioneering in the state
The leader of the group, Mr. Victor Sage Thompson, explained the peaceful protest was a forewarning to political ]parties, especially, the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) against imposition of unpopular candidates in the party but that people who have labored for the party should be allowed to have a level playing field at the primaries.
While advising the youth to act responsibly by shunning all forms of thuggery and being used by politicians to cause trouble during and after the elections, Thompson equally appealed to politicians and political parties to ensure credible elections by giving all aspirants equal opportunities to hone their aspirations without undue favouritism.
He warned of the grave danger of using the military to intimidate some aspirants and rig the primaries in favour of any particular aspirant following the rumours that the PDP governorship primaries would be held at Army Barracks, Ibagwa.
The youth disclosed that the youth have vowed to mobilise themselves massively to resist any form of injustice against the right of the people to choose who leads them in 2023.
In his words, “We are condemning in the strongest possible terms, any attempt to use the military to intimidate other aspirants and delegates to favour any particular aspirant, we are promising the party that we will not fail to mobilize ourselves massively to resist any such attempt.
“While we do not have any issues with the rumored choice of Ibagwa Barracks as the PDP Guber primaries venue as long as the intentions are genuinely to ensure peace, we wish to state emphatically that any attempt to use that as an opportunity to impose an unpopular aspirant will be met with stiff resistance. We wish to remind this party that the will of the people will always supersede the will of the military.”
The youths further condemned any attempt of the party to disenfranchise other aspirants in the guise of zoning and “concession” especially in Eket Senatorial District and Etinan Federal Constituency. They insist that all aspirants should be given a level playing field to test their popularity.
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