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20 parties push for postponement of Ondo poll

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About 20 political parties, on Monday, urged‎ all relevant security agencies in the country to immediately put pressure on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to shift the governorship election in Ondo State slated for Saturday till after the court processes have been completed.

They argued that the country cannot afford to have the state engulfed in avoidable political crises as a result of the poll.

Reacting to the forthcoming poll in Abuja, the parties noted that patriotic citizens must be appalled at the political scenarios unfolding in the state in the last weeks of the 2016 governorship election campaign.

Speaking through the national chairman of Labour Party, Abdulkadir Abdulsalam, the parties said they observed that there was serious danger if INEC went ahead to conduct the election without the court cases resolved.

They lamented that the unfortunate scenes playing out in both the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) was clear indication of major political crises brewing unabatedly in a state known for peace, political stability and tranquillity and harmony.

“It is important to call attention to the situation and rally Nigerians around the great people of Ondo State to forestall the imminent danger of the looming crises that are enveloping the state,” they said.

They said, “It is instructive that the ‘Do or Die’ politics of the past must not be revisited on Ondo State of all places, given the education and political sagacity of the people.

“Both the APC and the PDP are engrossed in open challenges going into the governorship election this weekend, although the APC has been very sophisticated and diplomatic in managing and internalizing its challenges.

“However, a situation in the PDP where the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been cajoled and intimidated into recognising the two factions of the PDP is quite an aberration to our democracy.

“Just a few months ago, in the Edo governorship election, INEC upheld the candidacy of the Senator Markafi-led faction of the PDP as the authentic group to file a candidate for the party.  Now, in the Ondo State governorship election slated for Saturday, 26 November, 2016, the same electoral umpire is upholding the governorship candidacy of the Senator Sheriff-led faction of the party, under the guise of ‘obeying court order’

“This quagmire must be resolved by the courts, even if this drags on to the Supreme Court, before any meaningful governorship election can take place in Ondo State.

“If INEC is brazenly intimidated into abdicating its rudimentary function of monitoring and certifying  the validity of party primary elections for the selection of candidates, and instead acquiesces by allowing the court to arbitrarily pick candidates without INEC-monitored primaries, then our democracy is becoming gravely injured, needing urgent ambulatory care and political surgery.”