Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
From Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for deregistering seven political parties; an action it said was aimed at sanitising the nation's political party system.
The party also called on the electoral commission to go a step further by sanctioning the activities of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which it said were undemocratic and unconstitutional.
INEC had two weeks ago withdrawn the certificate of registration of seven political parties for not fielding any candidate in the last general election.
According to a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Prof. Ahmed Alkali, the party commended INEC for the steps it had taken to re-examine the status of political parties in the country, stressing that the exercise “was long over due.”
PDP called on INEC to look further and also sanction other political parties whose conducts had not only been anti-democratic but also counterproductive in the march towards a stable democracy.
According to PDP, “We particularly call on INEC to take a critical look at political parties such as the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which consistently violated the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in States where they have been in control”.
PDP in the statement said INEC should note the unconstitutional creation of local government areas in Lagos state, the illegal dissolution of elected local councils in Ekiti State, and the tactics employed to destabilise the leadership of the Edo State House of Assembly.
PDP also notified INEC of the recent crisis in the judiciary, reminding the commission that ACN had been involved in inciting Nigerians against the Judiciary and the Federal Government over purely internal administrative issues which fell within the purview and undertaken by the National Judicial Commission.
Meanwhile, ripples over the emergence of Aminu Tambuwal and Emeka Ihedioha as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively, against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) zoning arrangement continues as the National Working Committee (NWC) has inaugurated a seven-man committee headed by Senator Onyeabor Obi to advise the party on the next action.
Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, had called on Tambuwal to resign in two years because of the breach his emergence had caused the PDP zoning arrangement.
He went further to set up a 7-man committee to advise the party on what should be done to remedy the situation.
It was gathered that the PDP BoT set up a committee under the chairmanship of Senator Onyeabor Obi, with Chief Ebenezer Babatope representing the South-west; Acting National Secretary of the party, Dr. Musa Babayo, representing the North-east; former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, from the North-central; Stella Omu from the South-south and Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State representing the North-west.
THISDAY gathered that the 7-man committee was inaugurated by the Acting National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, with a directive to the members to advise the party on the implications of the breach in the zoning arrangements of the party that threw up Tambuwal and Ihedioha against the party’s directives.
The committee’s inauguration took place last week at its office located at the Legacy House, Abuja. It was gathered that the committee’s report was expected to be submitted to the BoT at the Board’s next meeting.
It was because of the breach in the PDP’s zoning system that the party zoned the office of the national secretary to the South-west, the national chairman to the North-east and the deputy national chairman to the South-west.
By the new zoning arrangement, the national treasurer and national organising secretary of the party are expected to be zoned to the North-west, while the national legal adviser and the youth leader are zoned to the North-central.
A member of the committee who spoke to THISDAY said the Obi committee was expected to advise the party on the series of allegations of indiscipline plaguing the party and proffer the best way to tackle the issues before the general election. The committee, it was gathered, would endeavour to reconcile aggrieved members of the party, especially in states where governorship election would take place between December 3, this year and 2012.
The acting national chairman had last week cited indiscipline as one of the major issues confronting the party and promised to address it before the next national convention of the party slated for February next year.