Nigeria heading for constitutional crisis, says Dickson

Posted by Mike Odiegwu | 19 February 2019 | 726 times

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•Governor Dickson

 Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson has warned of a looming major constitutional crisis, if the elections failed to hold as rescheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Dickson, who briefed reporters in Government House, Yenagoa, said there was a need for stakeholders to work collectively to avert the crisis.

Dickson suggested that President Muhammadu Buhari should immediately convene an expanded emergency meeting of the National Council of State.

He said the meeting should have the service chiefs, INEC, political party leaders, their candidates and other major stakeholders in attendance.

He said the stakeholders should resolve on the new date for the postponed elections, adding that INEC was wrong to have unilaterally chosen next Saturday for the rescheduled polls.

He cautioned leaders against name-calling, appealing to them to work in the interest of the country to avoid plunging Nigeria into avoidable succession crisis.

He said it was unpatriotic for anyone to be calling for the removal of the INEC chairman, adding that the country would be on a crossroad, if two critical institutions – INEC and the Supreme Court – were undergoing crisis at the same time.

He said: “This postponement belittled our country. It doesn’t show us as a serious country. Unless all stakeholders drop the habit of name-calling and claiming to be rights, we are moving close to a major constitutional crisis.

“If anything should go wrong, we will have a full-blown crisis; crisis of succession at a time the Supreme Court is also undergoing crisis. We should not call for the removal of the INEC Chairman. If INEC is in crisis and the Supreme Court is crisis, I don’t know where we are headed.

“I call on President Muhammadu Buhari as the leader of the country to convene an emergency meeting of the National Council of states to enable service chiefs and the INEC brief stakeholders on their preparations.

“The meeting should involve the political party chairmen and the presidential candidates to examine the developing scenario, which may plunge our country into crisis. I believe that if we all sit down and know the circumstances, we should agree on a new date.

The governor noted that few hours to the postponed elections, Bayelsa did not have ballot papers for presidential elections and stamps to authenticate votes.

“Even now, I am told there are issues of unserialised ballot papers”, he said.

The governor hailed Buhari for calling on security agencies to deal ruthlessly with troublemakers during the election.

He said by such presidential directive, security agencies should no longer be encumbered from doing their jobs without fear or favour.

He particularly appealed to security agencies to ensure the application of the directive in Bayelsa, especially in areas like Ekeremor and Brass, where he said some known political figures had been fomenting troubles.

Dickson called on the electorate to maintain their momentum and not to be discouraged by the postponement.

He also disagreed with INEC on suspension of campaigns, saying that his party would continue to engage the people in accordance with the established law of the land.

Dickson, who insisted that it was unfortunate that INEC postponed the poll despite all the preparations in the state, including declaring a two-day holiday, asked stakeholders to work against further shift.

Sourced from The Nation report


Source: News Express

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