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Kogi: Opposition leaders differ on INEC’s decision

Leaders of some political parties in the country have expressed different views over the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the inconclusive…

Leaders of some political parties in the country have expressed different views over the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the inconclusive governorship election in Kogi State.
INEC had on Tuesday asked the All Progressives Congress (APC), which lost its governorship candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu, on Sunday, to nominate another candidate for the conclusion of the election, a decision the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) swiftly kicked against.
Speaking with our correspondent in a telephone interview, yesterday, the National Chairman of Citizens Popular Party (CPP), Chief Sam Eke, said Nigerians should be more nationalistic in handling issues of such magnitude, stressing that INEC’s directive should be strictly adhered to by the APC.
Eke, the CPP presidential candidate in the March/April general elections, and current national secretary of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), said there was no need for anyone to criticise the INEC’s decision even though the law has no solution for such an occurrence.
He said: “There is a missing link in our laws on this issue, but we should be more nationalistic because you can’t jettison the votes cast in the Saturday’s election and say you will conduct a fresh election. We should consider the cost implication of conducting another election.”
But Dr. Yunusa Tanko, the National Chairman of National Conscience Party (NCP), and former chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), told Daily Trust that INEC was wrong for taking such decision, stressing the need for the commission to conduct a fresh election.
He argued; “It is not right for INEC to say that the APC should replace its candidate for the election. INEC is compounding the issue; it is not correct. INEC would have cancelled the election completely and conduct a fresh election in the state. Audu’s demise was a challenge INEC would have tackled by going back to its drawing board to arrange for a fresh election.
“But as it is now, they are actually fuelling a legal battle. They are taking a decision and talking about precedence that they will not be able to take care of.”
Similarly, the National Chairman of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and its presidential candidate in the last general election, Rafiu Salau, in a telephone interview said INEC was right to have allowed the APC to produce another governorship candidate for the December 5 supplementary elections.
He said: “This happened to AD before. Our presidential candidate in 2007 died when we went to Ondo for campaign and INEC allowed us to field another candidate to replace him. So, the APC should be allowed to produce another candidate. If INEC then, had not allowed us to nominate another candidate, I wouldn’t have said the APC should be allowed to do so.”
Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Chief Peter Ameh, said that his party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and national caucus would take a position on the issue.

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