Edo/Ondo crisis: IPAC warns against postponement of elections

The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has insisted that the upcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States must hold as scheduled in pursuant to the provisions of section 178(1) and (2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

IPAC said it is aware of the clamour for the September 19 and October 10, 2020, Edo and Ondo States governorship elections respectively to be postponed.

While addressing journalists in Abuja, the IPAC National Chairman, Dr Leonard Nzenwa said the Council dissociates itself from the call by some parties to stampede the commission to hurriedly re-list the deregistered political parties.

“As we are aware that all elections in the country as organised by INEC has a clear schedule with a timeline that has been sanctioned and legitimised by the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and calling for the postponement of the polls is winding the clock backwards in addition to a waste of taxpayers’ money and other negative impacts on the polity.

“The Council dissociates itself from the call by our colleagues to stampede the commission to hurriedly re-list the deregistered political parties. For an election that has gone 95 per cent cycle, we see this calls for postponement of Edo and Ondo State governorship as an act by unpatriotic Nigerians who resolved to throw us into a political armageddon.

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The Council urged 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 a crisis in these states.

IPAC also said it is aware of plots to use this same disgruntled individuals and groups in the country to promote the stoppage of Edo and Ondo polls.

“We restate that for the growth and development of our democracy, all elections must hold as millions of taxpayers funds have been spent in preparing for them. The electoral process should not be derailed by ill-informed Nigerians and retrogressive forces.

“The leadership of IPAC as presently constituted will do everything within its power to stop activities of these anti-democratic forces who want to use legal ambush to stop the wishes and mandates of Edo and Ondo States people.

“IPAC urges Nigerians, particularly Edo and Ondo States indigenes to remain calm, law-abiding and be prepared to go to the polls on 19th September and 10th October 2020, to vote their preferred candidate”, Nzenwa said.

IPAC however, commended the pro-active response of INEC to approach the Supreme Court to determine the resolution of the conflicting Court of Appeal Judgment(s) on deregistered political parties.

“The Council is aware of the Court of Appeal Judgment of July 29, 2020, which affirmed the power of INEC to deregister political parties in an appeal filed by the National Unity Party (NUP) which is now pending at the Supreme Court.

“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. As a stakeholder, IPAC will abide by the decision of the Apex Court.

“IPAC urges all democrats in Nigeria to prevail on their spheres of influence not to toe the abhorrent resolve of retrogressive politicians to unhinge the political stability of Edo and Ondo States in the same vein that of Nigeria.

“IPAC reiterates that it has only one leadership as currently constituted in Nigeria and is working with all stakeholders in the Electoral System including the core stakeholder, INEC and this leadership will always support and work with all stakeholders to ensure that the Edo and Ondo elections are held as scheduled”, he added.

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