Youths of Ideato Nation under the banner of Ideato Youth Forum, Wednesday, protested at the office of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Owerri, Imo State capital.

Also joined in the protest were members of Imo State Almagamated Markets and Traders Association, (ISAMATA) led by their president, Ezeanochie Emmanuel.

The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions, to press home their demands for the issuance of Certificates of Return to the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Ideato North and South, Udeze Ernest Okechukwu and Duru Johnson Iheonukara respectively.

The protesting youths lamented the delay in the issuance of CoR to both candidates, who had earlier been declared winners by INEC.

They claimed the people of the area voted massively for both candidates because of their antecedents and excellent performance during a debate organized for House of Assembly candidates prior to the election.

“Both candidates are masses-oriented and would not disappoint the people of Ideato nation”, Godstime Okolike, President, Ideato Youth Forum said.

“If somebody was returned elected, why the delay in issuing certificate of return?, another angry youth queried.

The visibly-angry protesters promised to remain law abiding and continue with the protest till all their demands are met.

Head of Department, INEC, Mr Sunday Nwebe who addressed the protesters on behalf of the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Sylvia Agu, urged them to always follow due process in pursuit of their rights.

He disclosed that there were a lot of complaints arising from the election that prompted Imo INEC to withhold the certificates of both candidates, explaining that it was in line with the commission’s mandate.

He assured that their concerns had been sent to Abuja and the commission was yet to get a feedback.

Hon. Duru Iheonukara Johnson, Member-elect for Ideato South, had in an interview with newsmen, commended youths of Ideato nation for their courage and however, expressed dismay over the delay in receiving his CoR after being declared winner by INEC.

He promised to seek redress in the court of law to ensure justice, should INEC fail to meet the demands of the youths.

Also speaking, Hon. Udeze Ernest Okechukwu, member-elect for Ideato North, alleged that the election in the area was free, fair and credible.

He lambasted the opposition for seeing the election as a do or die affair, and urged them to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship in the interest of Ideato people.

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