By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
As political stakeholders in the country continues to react to Thursday’s release of time table for the 2019 general election, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the All Progressive Grand Alliance and Labour Party have described it as a good move that will make adequate preparation.
National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Oye said the early announcement of the 2019 election dates would enable all stakeholders to meet up with huge task involved in preparing for the exercise.
Oye who spoke to THISDAY from his Awka home, said that the politicians need to reach out to allies and have ample time to build bridges across the political divide in order to put them in good stead for the election.
“INEC is doing its own duty as prescribed by the law and for us as politicians, the presidential election is a gargantuan exercise that requires a lot of preparations and strategic alliance, knowing the time table well in advance will be advantage,” he said.
In welcoming the time table, the Labour Party said it was a step in the right direction, adding that it assists both the electoral body and politicians to put their house in order in good time.
The national chairman of the party, Abdulkadir Abudulsammi who spoke to THISDAY on telephone yesterday said that the measure would assist political parties and Nigerians who has interest in contesting the election preparing adequately for the exercise.
“It will enable both the politicians and INEC to make adequate preparations for the election, so that nobody will be taken unawares. This is the first time INEC will be given a long period of notice for the election. Neither INEC nor the political parties will have excuse for not getting ready for the election, ” he said.
But the former acting National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus alleged that the Commission may be doing the biding of the All Progressives Congress by rushing to issue the time table for the 2019 election
He said INEC as presently constituted could not conduct unbiased election and should therefore be dissolved and reconstituted to save our democracy.
Prince Secondus who was reacting to the Thursday’s shocking release of timetable for the 2019 general election said in a statement he personally signed and released in Abuja this weekend that Nigerians needed no further proof to establish that the Electoral body was designed to do the ruling APC’s bidding all the way.
According to Secondus, INEC in its determination to carry out an APC designed agenda rolled out the timetable without carrying out the necessary due diligent that includes adequate consultations with critical stakeholders like the political parties and civil society groups whose input is always sought and accommodated before the final decisions are taken.
He said that the commission had shown enormous arrogance and lack of democratic principles in its affairs in rushing to release the timetable for the election that was 24 months away when it had many urgent and unfinished matters before it.
“It is curious that an electoral commission that is yet to be properly constituted and has before it many unfinished matters including voter education and enlightenment, had to rush out date for 2019 general election in full disregard of rule guiding it.
“As we speak, Anambra state gubernatorial election is due later this year and the state has no Resident Electoral Commissioner REC to carry out all the needful as enshrined in the constitution before the election,” he said.
Secondus then charged Nigerians especially critical stakeholders in the nation’s democracy to view the rush by INEC to release 2019 as an action pregnant with agenda set out to Favour the ruling APC.