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Kogi Election: Declare Wada winner, PDP insists, Audu’s Senatorial District picks son as APC candidate

By News Express on 27/11/2015

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The dust raised by the sudden death of the All Progressives Congress (APC), candidate in Kogi State governorship election, Alhaji Abubakar Audu, during the collation of results by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) is yet to settle as contention between the two leading parties, the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rages on.

Latest report emanating from PDP on Thursday showed the party calling on INEC to declare its candidate in the November 21 governorship election in Kogi, Mr. Idris Wada, the winner of the election.

While, the leaders of All Progressives Congress (APC), in Kogi East Senatorial District has nominated Mr Mohammed, 43, first son of Late Prince Abubakar Audu, to replace him as the party’ s governorship candidate.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of the party’s National Caucus emergency meeting held in Abuja on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that INEC had declared the November 21 election inconclusive following cancellation of election in 91 polling units.

Metuh said that the PDP caucus thoroughly considered the development arising from the November 21 governorship election, following the death of the All Progressive Congress (APC), candidate, Alhaji Abubakar Audu.

He said that PDP had resolved that with the death of Audu, on November 22, APC had ‘legally crashed out’ of the governorship race in accordance with Section 33 of the Electoral Act.

Metuh said that APC lost out of the race as no known law or constitutional provision allowed the substitution of candidates, once the ballot process had commenced.

“We are not trying to take advantage of Audu’s death. Nigerians will bear us witness that PDP observes respect to the person and image of late Audu, but this is the law of our land.”

Metuh said that PDP completely rejected INEC decision on the directive of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Malam Abubakar Malami, to allow APC substitute its candidate in the middle of an election.

“The PDP insists that with the unfortunate death of Audu, the APC has no valid candidate in the election.

“This leaves INEC with no other lawful option than to declare the PDP candidate, Wada, as the winner of the election.”

He said that if APC was allowed to substitute its original candidate, then, the party would have fielded two separate candidates in the same election.

“This is a scenario that is completely alien to our electoral laws and to any known democratic norm and practice world-over.”

Metuh said that if after voting in the Saturday’s election, Audu said he was no longer interested in the election, would INEC have told APC to change its candidate?

“There is no different between the death and withdrawal of a candidate in our laws. Laws never separated it. This situation can be termed as withdrawal.

“If Audu had withdrawn on Saturday, election would have continued and Wada would have been declared the winner.”

Metuh said that caucus observed that INEC under the leadership of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had lost the confidence of Nigerians.

He also restated the party’s demand for the immediate resignation of Malami, INEC chairman and all its national commissioners.

The PDP image maker added that in order to save the nation’s democracy from imminent collapse, the PDP would immediately challenge the unlawful and unconstitutional decision of INEC in the court of law.

“We are confident that judiciary will restore the proper tenets of our democracy and that this matter will be settled before December 5.

“APC cannot participate in December 5 election because the time has elapsed for the party to substitute its candidate.”

Metuh who stressed that the PDP had not in any way accused APC of killing Audu, however questioned the rationale of AGF INEC and APC decision on the issue.

“They are creating a scenario where a loser in a primaries will patiently waits for the winning candidate to finish election and have him either poisoned or assassinated before the final collation of results.”

In Kogi, the leaders, stakeholders and delegates who made this known in Lokoja on Thursday after a marathon meeting, said they arrived at the decision after due consultations .

Their spokesman, Mr Daniel Isah, the Vice Chairman of APC in Kogi East, said they have resolved and are determined to back Mohammed to replace his father if the National Working Committee orders fresh primaries.

Isah thanked the Independent National Electoral Commission and the national leadership of the party for the opportunity given to them to find a replacement for Audu who died on Nov. 23 at Ogbonicha, Ofu Local Government.

He appealed to the national leadership of the party to give their decision utmost consideration and approval in the overall interest of the party and the state.

Present at the meeting were Alhaji Lincho Ocheje, Hon. Hassan Omale, Hon. Benjamin Ikhani, and Sen. Emmanuel Dangana, among others. (NAN)

•Photo shows INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud .

 

Source News Express

Posted 27/11/2015 05:02:28 AM

 

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