Reject INEC Time-table For Elections
From John Abba Ogbodo, Abuja
THE time table for the 2003
elections released by the Independent National Electoral
Commission (INEC) has been rejected by the 30 political
The National Chairman of the ruling People's Democratic
Party (PDP), Chief Audu Ogbeh who disclosed this yesterday in
Abuja also hinted that the party will not accept the
candidature of Daniel Kanu who won the PDP primaries for the
House of Representatives in Abuja Municipal. Speaking on the
INEC timetable, Ogbeh who said he was speaking the minds of
the other political parties, specifically pointed out that the
parties are not comfortable with the January 4, 2003 date for
submission of list of candidates.
The PDP national chairman explained that it would not be
convenient for any of the political parties to have list of
candidates ready by that date.
He therefore appealed for an extension of at least, one
month. Ogbeh equally called on INEC to take the law to the
National Assembly for amendment.
"We are not happy with the submission of list on January 4,
2003. It is not convenient for us and I am sure it is not
convenient for any political party to have all the lists of
their candidate by January 4, 2003. PDP therefore appeals to
INEC to shift that date by at least, one month," he said.
He continued: "I think I am speaking the minds of the
political parties because January 4 is not feasible. So, let
INEC take steps to send an amendment to the National Assembly
to remove the 90 days mandatory time for the submission of the
list to allow all political parities time to have all their
candidates properly submitted. The new electoral law states
that the screening will be done by the parties and not INEC."
Ogbeh categorically said that the party will not allow the
candidature of former chairman of the defunct Youths Earnestly
Ask For Abacha (YEAA), Daniel Kanu for the House of
Representatives in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) because
of his antecedents.
Kanu was announced winner of the Abuja Federal House of
Representatives primaries. The national chairman further
explained that as a credible party, PDP owes the society a
sense of responsibility to present leaders with clean records.
He said there were reports that the certificate he
presented could not be verified, stressing that there were
doubts about the screening process.
His words: "We have heard about it. First, there is some
doubt about the quality of screening that was carried out
because we were informed that his certificates were not
exactly verifiable as he claimed. But over and above that, I
must say that we (PDP) will not be ready to accept him as our
candidate for the House of Representatives purely on the
ground of certain antecedent of his which is not clear.
"We took the same position on Chief Omisore sometime ago
and we were categorical about it on the ground of certain
antecedents. We will not be able to present him (Kanu) as our
candidate for the House of Representatives. He may wish to
find some other political parties," he said.
Speaking on the non-incumbent gubernatorial aspirant who
took the party to court and their subsequent suspension by the
party, the national chairman, while threatening that "any of
such rascality will be dealt with," expressed dismay that the
court is getting involved in politics. Admitting that some of
them are no longer members of the party but merely trying to
destroy it before leaving, Ogbeh rationalised their suspension
saying though it was procedural measure adopted by the party
to dissuade them, some of them still stood their ground hence
the latest action of the party. "The procedure is to suspend
them, then you summon them. The first time they came to me,
they had already gone to court. But what is more annoying and
I must say on behalf of NWC, what we found more irritating was
that the guidelines we prepared satisfied their need. We were
at the NEC meeting they were there, they refused to say a word
in their own defence," he said..
Ogbeh further assured that the party was prepared to
organise primaries as many times as possible so as to ensure
fairness at all cost.
He disclosed that there were few mistakes in the list of
gubernatorial aspirants released by the party but said they
had been corrected.