Posted by News Express | 6 December 2014 | 4,611 times
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa State, Dr. Umar Ardo, has called for a fresh House of Assembly primary election in the state.
“As a critical PDP Stakeholder in Adamawa State, I am compelled to issue this Press Release with respect to the current status of the PDP and the ongoing party nomination process in the state, particularly on the primaries alleged to have taken place last weekend for the nomination of Members of the Adamawa State Legislature,” Ardo said in a press statement which he issued in Yola, the state capital.
Explaining why the primary election should be cancelled and another one held, Ardo said: “On Wednesday, 26th November, a letter signed by the National Secretary of the party, Prof. Wole Oladipo, titled ‘Suspension of Adamawa State Chairman and Secretary’ addressed to the Assistant National Vice Chairman Northeast Zone and copied to the State Governor, Barr BJ Ngilari, the State Chairman, Chief Joel Madaki, and Secretary, Barr AT Shehu, among others, communicated the suspension of Chief Madaki and Barr Shehu from their respective offices indefinitely and appointed the Deputy Chairman of the party in the state, Hon. Jingi Rufa’i and the Assistant Secretary South, Haj. Fatima Omang, as Ag. Chairman and Secretary respectively.
“On Friday night the 28th, a meeting of PDP Stakeholders was called in the Government House, to which I was not invited, at which a Court Order was surreptitiously produced and served on the appointed Ag. Chairman and Secretary, both of whom were not party to the suit. In the mean time, the National Secretariat was not served with the Court Order.
“On Saturday morning an Election Panel from the National Secretariat was sent to the state for the purpose of conducting the primaries for House of Assembly members. The panel arrived Yola and was caught in the intrigue between obeying a Court Order that was not known of at the National Secretariat and obeying the instructions given it in Abuja to work with the Acting leadership in the state. As a result of this, with the panel members virtually held hostages, elections did not hold on the appointed date.”
Speaking further he said: “The next day, Sunday 30th, elections were alleged to have been conducted in some constituencies by a Chief Madaki-led EXCO. While I do not intend to look at the propriety or otherwise of the accusations leveled against the Chairman and Secretary and the action taken by the NWC, it is clear that the resultant situation has put Adamawa State PDP in a serious limbo, casting a dark cloud over its ability and legitimacy to conduct the party nomination exercise. For example, who are the current legitimate Chairman and Secretary of the party in the state? With a Court Order, the NWC is bound, if served, to obey. But has the National Secretariat been served? To my knowledge it was not served by yesterday.”
According to Ardo, with regard to the primaries for the nomination of the House of Assembly members, it is obvious that the entire exercise did not hold as the panel sent to conduct it failed to carry it out. It is also obvious that the exercise alleged to have been carried out by the Chief Madaki-led EXCO is entirely illegal, he said.
Giving reasons why the primaries should be cancelled and another one held, he said: “Firstly, the exercise was not conducted by the panel constitutionally empowered to do so as the members were held hostage. Secondly, by virtue of Chapter 5 of the PDP constitution, only the National Secretariat has powers to fix election date and conduct elections for the party. The date fixed by the NWC for the House of Assembly primaries was Saturday 29th November. If for any reason election is not held on that date, as it happened in Adamawa, only the NWC can appoint a new date. Therefore the alleged election held on Sunday 30th without an announcement by the NWC is definitely unlawful.
“Again, by virtue of Section 50 (1) 7 of the constitution, the primaries for the election of House of Assembly Candidates ‘shall be held at the Local Government constituency headquarters’. To this end, since the entire Local Government constituency headquarters in the Northern Senatorial District and two Local Government Areas in the Central Senatorial District are under occupation either by Boko Haram or the military, elections are alleged to have been held for these areas at venues outside the constituency headquarters. This is illegal. Elections can only hold in this way if the NEC of the party sat and waved this constitutional provision subject to the approval of the National Convention.”
Ardo further argued that by virtue of Part 11 B (vi) of the PDP Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections, Delegates to State Assembly primaries comprise all members of the Ward Executive Committee. “But in the elections allegedly held on the 30th November, Ward Executive Committee members other than Chairmen were disqualified. Being the majority of the Electoral College for the nomination of House of Assembly primaries their disqualification obviously rendered that exercise null and void ab initio,” he said.
His conclusion: “Given the above raised issues, it is important for the NWC of the party to clarify issues on the status of the state EXCO especially that of the Chairman and Secretary, appoint a new date for re-election of candidates for the House of Assembly and outline the process for subsequent nominations.”
•Photo shows Umar Ardo.
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