…As IPAC, CUPP react
By Ezeocha Nzeh
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has declared that the recent Appeal court ruling in favour of the de registered political parties will not any effect on its already commenced timetable for the conduct of he September 19 and October 10, governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states respectively
INEC maintained that despite the Appeal Courts order restoring the status of the deregistered political parties, the commission would conduct he two elections without the 58 parities, as it was set to appeal the judgement at the Supreme Court
This was INECs position as presented by Chief Press Secretary to the commission’s Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi at a webinar organised by the International Press Centre (IPC) for journalists in Ondo state ahead of the October 19 governorship election
Oyekanmi while responding to a question on if the verdict will be implemented said that “The election will go on as scheduled; the judgment can’t change anything. Since none of them (affected parties) conducted primaries before the closing of the window, they cannot take part in the election and that cannot affect INEC’s preparation.”
He argued that since the window of conducting primaries by political parties had expired under the election guidelines, no new party will be accommodated in the elections, adding that. “the judgement of the Appeal court on the reinstatement of the delisted political parties would not affect preparations for the two governorship elections.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Director of IPC, Lanre Arogundade, noted that the webinar was part of efforts to improve the capacity of Journalists in election coverage, urging participants to embrace germane issues of professional and ethical reportage of electoral processes, including issues of inclusivity, fact-checking, hate speech and conflict-sensitive reporting (online/offline).
Meanwhile the position of INEC has continued to attract reactions from the various political groups
While the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has backed INEC in its position, the Coalition of Political Parties (CUPP), whose majority of members were involved in the de registration has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to adjust its timetable for Edo and Ondo governorship elections, citing the Court of Appeal’s judgment
The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has frowned at reported moves by some members of the de-registered political parties, who de-registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was upturned by the Appeal Court on Monday to force INEC to alter the timetable for the Edo and Ondo governorship elections to accommodate their candidates to participate
IPAC in a press briefing Tuesday in Abuja, expressed its disagreement with the position of their colleagues, insisting that the two elections must go ahead as planned by the commission
Chairman of the umbrella of registered political parties, Leonard Nzenwa, described the clamour for the September 19 and October 10, 2020 Edo and Ondo States Governorship Elections respectively to be postponed as undemocratic .
Nzenwa, who doubles as the National Chairman of Africa Action Congress (AAC) insisted that the elections must hold as scheduled, citing the provisions of section 178(1) and (2) of the constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and section 25(7) and (8), section 99 (1), section 31 (1), (3), section 32 (1), 34, 35, 46 etc among others.
“The Council dissociates itself with the call by our colleagues to stampede the commission to hurriedly re-list the deregistered political parties. For an election that has gone 95 percent cycle, we see this call for postponement of Edo and Ondo State Governorship as act by unpatriotic Nigerians who resolved to throw into a Political Armageddon.
“The Council urges INEC not to be distracted by actions and inaction of some politicians who are inflaming the polity with incendiary statements and clear intent to cause crisis in these states.
CUPP in a statement by its media committee chairman, Chukwudi Ezeobika, insisted that rescheduling had become necessary so as to avoid disenfranchising parties that did not conduct primaries prior to the court judgment.