INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega
By Chuks Okocha
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may be heading for a show down over flawed congresses as INEC for the third time has written to PDP notifying it of the flawed wards and local government congresses in 11 states of the federation that produced the state executive councils of the party.
The commission is insisting that for the state congresses to be constitutionally recognised the wards, local government and states congresses in the affected states must be conducted afresh.
But the National Vice-Chairman of PDP in the North-east, Senator Girgir Lawan, told THISDAY that he is not aware of the letter from INEC faulting the congresses in the affected states and pledged to go ahead to inaugurate the state congresses in the affected states in the zone.
INEC had in previous letters to PDP on March 5 and March 14 2012 faulted the ward congresses of PDP, directing the party to conduct fresh ward congresses in nine states where they recorded faults.
The affected states with flawed congresses are Sokoto, Adamawa, Taraba, Plateau, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Lagos, Yobe, Anambra, Yobe and Katisna States.
The commission in a fresh letter dated April 2, 2012 signed by its Secretary, Abduallhi Kaugama, reminded PDP of the need to conduct fresh congresses in the affected states.
The third letter from INEC on the flawed congresses said: “You may recall in the course of recently conducted wards, local government, states and zonal congresses of your party, the commission wrote to advice on the non-compliance with relevant provisions of the PDP constitution and guidelines in some states.
“I am to further remind you that your party is yet to reschedule the congresses in the affected states except Lagos and Nasarawa. You are accordingly advised to reschedule the ward, local government and state congresses in Sokoto, Adamawa, Taraba, Plateau, Jigawa, Anambra, Katsina and Yobe States including part of Cross River State for the emergence of a constitutionally recognized party executives at all levels,” INEC told PDP in the third letter.
But Lawan told THISDAY he was not aware of the letter from INEC, as the correspondence from INEC was directed to the national headquarters of the party. As such, he said, “we are going ahead with the inauguration of the states congresses in the North on Saturday”.
According to him, “the national headquarters of the party has not communicated to us in the North-east of any flawed congresses. The communication is between INEC and the national headquarters”.