Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) said on Tuesday that it has uncovered plans by some “disgruntled” individuals and groups in the country to promote a campaign for the stoppage of Edo and Ondo elections already scheduled for September 19 and October 10, respectively.
IPAC attributed the destructive plans to some of their colleagues, particularly those from the de-registered political party who stampeded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), requesting that they be hurriedly re-list the de-registered political parties.
IPAC insisted that calling for postponement of an election that has gone 95 per cent cycle, in terms of preparation, is an act by unpatriotic Nigerians that could throw the system into a political armageddon.
Its National Chairman, Leonard Nzenwa, who addressed a press conference in Abuja, asked the INEC to disregard such calls and proceed with their plans for the free and fair elections.
He said: ‘We insists that the elections must hold as scheduled pursuant to 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.
‘We are aware that all elections in Nigeria as organized by INEC has a clear schedule with timeline that has been legitimized by the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010(As amended). So, calling for the postponement of the polls is winding the clock backward, in addition to waste of taxpayers’ money, with other negative impact on the polity.
‘We restate that, for the growth and development of our democracy, elections must hold as millions of tax payers funds have been spent in preparing for them. The electoral process should not be derailed by ill-informed Nigerians and retrogressive forces.’
He reaffirmed that the leadership of IPAC as presently constituted will do everything within its power to stop activities of some anti-democratic forces who want to use legal ambush to stop the wishes and mandates of Edo and Ondo States people.
The IPAC Chairman urged Nigerians particularly Edo and Ondo States indigenes to remain calm, law abiding and be prepared to go to the polls on September 19 and October 10 to vote their preferred candidate.
Meanwhile, IPAC commended proactive response of INEC to approach the Supreme Court to determine the resolution of “conflicting” Court of Appeal Judgment on deregistered political parties.
He said that IPAC is aware of the Court of Appeal Judgment of July 29, which affirmed powers of INEC to deregister political parties in an appeal filed by the National Unity Party (NUP) which is now pending at the Supreme Court.
He added: ‘On 10th August 2020, the Court of Appeal in an appeal filed by Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) and 22 others nullified their deregistration by INEC. Nigerians await the final resolution of the issues raised in the two conflicting judgments. But as a stakeholder, IPAC will abide by the decision of the Apex Court.’