YIAGA, foreign donors collaborating to discredit military’s efforts, poll results, CSOs alleges

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A coalition of civil society organisations, under the aegis of New Initiative for Credible Leadership (NICreL) has lashed out at the Youth Initiative For Advocacy, Growth And Advancement (YIAGA) for allegedly attempting to undermine the military’s efforts towards a credible, free and fair conduct at the general elections.

In what is gradually becoming a routine, YIAGA, funded by certain foreign bodies, discredited the Nigerian military and the entire electoral process in it’s report released on Sunday despite massive commendation coming from all and sundry.

However, NICreL, at a press conference by Executive Director, Rev. Patrick Onyeke, opined that this is another obvious coy to cast aspersion on the conduct of the polls while manufacturing evidence to pressure the security agencies.

*Read full text below*

The (Youth Initiative For Advocacy, Growth And Advancement) YIAGA Africa Watching The Vote (WTV) Group on Sunday presented what it termed its own interim report on the General Elections (for President and National Assembly) in a development that did not come as a surprise because it was well known before now that the organization exists solely to deliver on a hatchet job.

YIAGA’s ultimate delivery is to cast aspersion on the conduct of the elections, undermine its credibility and nudge Nigeria closer to chaos. A secondary goal of this questionable group is to manufacture evidence against the security and military establishments in Nigeria so that they will be under pressure and unable to effectively contain the violence that the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is orchestrating to force its declaration as the winner of the polls.

This explains why the group manufactured lies about observers being arrested and detained in Kaduna and Yobe states without specifying the details of the infractions that necessitated the security measures. For avoidance of doubts, security agencies were compelled to screen out fake observers that were being used for vote buying, voter intimidation and as couriers between dubious politicians and a few compromised electoral officials.

It also made the allegation that voters were prevented from accessing polling units to exercise their right when in reality security operatives merely ensured that persons without PVC were not allowed access to voting areas as part of proactive measures to forestall ballot snatching and undue influencing of voters by hired thugs that were out to force people to vote alongside the wishes of certain candidates.

Had YIAGA AFRICA bothered to make legitimate enquiries as opposed to putting on an air of belligerence against state officials while belittling other election observers it would have been wiser to the reality of the foregoing. It however persisted in its predetermined mission and denied itself of the benefit of enlightenment. Its ignorance of these development was responsible for its error in progressing in error by publicising lies as facts.

But we doubt that YIAGA AFRICA would have acted differently even when given the benefit of accurate information. Our assertion is based on what we have since discovered that this group is one of those on the payroll of the opposition with the sole aim of perverting Nigeria’s electoral system against the will of the people. Evidence of its being in bed with the PDP abound in the many controversial stance it took against the conduct of the election right from inception.

We also found that this group, YIAGA, is an organization that imported illegal aliens into the country for the purpose of carrying out its hatchet job. The apprehension of some of the illegal aliens it brought into the country is what it described as arrest and detention of election observers. We wonder how persons that did not meet the relevant accreditation criteria and also circumvented immigration requirements will expect to get away with such infractions without being held to account. Nigeria’s immigration requirements remain in place even during elections and they are actually heightened for such period.

There is no gainsaying the fact that an organization that can deploy illegal aliens among the observers it claimed to have sent on the field cannot come up with any report that will be credible. Its stick in trade is illegality so the report it claimed to have presented is tainted and overshadowed by the questionable way it got some of its key members into the country.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is urged to note the crimes YIAGA committed against the Nigerian state and to promptly commence the process of reviewing the accreditation it has given to members of the group and its affiliates with a view to revoking same. Even if INEC neglects to revoke the accreditation NICreL and other concerned Nigerians are not helpless in bringing the group to account for its role in trying to destabilize Nigeria. This is a condemnable act of irresponsibility.

The New Initiative for Credible Leadership (NICreL) will not stop at decrying the irresponsible activities of YIAGA AFRICA as the group has proven impervious to censure. It did nothing to correct its questionable way when they were earlier flagged as being at variance with the imperative for peace and stability in Nigeria, which confirmed it as a nuisance. NICreL hereby demands that YIAGA Africa Watching The Vote (WTV) Group and the parent body immediately pack out of Nigeria. The demand for YIAGA in all its forms move out of Nigeria must be complied with under the next 12 hours failing which NICreL will lead a coalition of patriotic Nigerian group to physically enforce its expulsion from Nigeria.

We advise groups that had allied themselves with YIAGA to immediately terminate such relationships lest they would be treated as being a contiguous part of that group. This implies that their operations too would be targeted and shut down in the interest of our country and the security if its citizens.

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