The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it would have been proper for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare Idris Wada, its candidate, as winner of the November 21 poll. Faulting the decision of the electoral body to ask the All Progressives Congress (APC) to replace the late Abubakar Audu, the opposition party said it would resort to legal action.
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Audu died shortly after the election was declared as inconclusive. In a statement issued on Thursday, Olisa Metuh, PDP spokesman, argued that the demise of Audu meant that the ruling party had no representation in the election.
Metuh said during his party’s national caucus meeting on Wednesday, it was resolved that there should be no going back on the decision to ask the INEC chairman and the attorney general of the federation, to resign.
The PDP also demanded the resignation of all the national commissioners of the electoral body, saying the commission is not competent to conduct the forthcoming governorship election in Bayelsa.
The statement read:
“The national caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) met on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 in Abuja wherein it thoroughly considered the developments arising from the conduct of the inconclusive governorship election in Kogi state and resolved as follows:
“Completely rejects the decision of INEC in yielding to the unlawful prompting of a clearly partisan attorney general of the federation (AGF), Mallam Abubakar Malami, to allow APC to substitute a candidate in the middle of an election, even when such has no place in the Constitution and the electoral act.
“Insists that with the death of its candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu, the APC has legally crashed out of the governorship race as no known law or constitutional provision allows the substituting of candidates, once the ballot process has commenced.
“Insists that with the unfortunate death of Prince Abubakar Audu, the APC has no valid candidate in the election, leaving INEC with no other lawful option than to declare the PDP candidate, Capt. Idris Wada as the winner of the election.
“Notes that the combine reading of the provisions of the constitution and Electoral Act does not in any war whatsoever support the substitution of candidates for election in the middle of the ballot process.
“Notes that if APC is allowed to substitute its original candidate, then the party would have fielded two separate candidates in the same election, a scenario that is completely alien to our electoral laws and to any known democratic norms and practice world-over.
“Caucus observes that the APC, fully aware that it has no case before the law is now orchestrating confusion in the polity with a view to diverting attention from its glaring incompetence and failure of governance.
“Observes that the leadership of INEC as presently constituted under the chairmanship of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has demonstrated that it is incapable of neutrality and as such cannot be vested with the conduct of the Kogi governorship supplementary election as well as the December 5, 2015 Bayelsa governorship election.
“As a result, caucus demands the immediate resignation of the chairman and all national commissioners of INEC to pave the way for a new non-partisan commission to conduct the forth-coming elections.
“Caucus also demands the immediate resignation of the attorney general of the federation (AGF), Mallam Abubakar Malami for deliberately misleading INEC into arriving at the unconstitutional decision of allowing APC to substitute its candidate in the inconclusive election.
“Notes that in order to save the nation’s democracy from imminent collapse, the PDP as a critical stakeholder will immediately challenge this unlawful and unconstitutional decision by INEC in the court.
“Caucus also alerts that the AGF, INEC and APC are creating a scenario where a loser in a primary will patiently wait for the winning candidate to finish election and then have him either poisoned or assassinated before the final collation of results.
“Caucus calls on the international community to prevail on the APC government to stop this ceaseless assault on our democracy.”