Sunday, 31 January 2016

NASS should outlaw parallel candidature- APC


Our great party reacts to the fallouts in the verdict of the Supreme Court judgment of January 29, 2016 in an appeal filed by Chief Ejike Ogeuebego and others against Peoples Democratic Party and others with mixed feelings.
On one hand, we are happy that the Anambra State Chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who for 14 years have made impunity,
factionalization and parallel candidature their favourite pastime and modified mischief for rigging elections in Anambra State are being caught up in their web, by weapons progressively used against other political parties for many years in Anambra State.

On the other hand, we are not happy that PDP is trying to drag down the whole state to share in the punishment for its self-destruction.
We see hope that a problem highlighted is a problem solved and note that hope is in sight that the issue of parallel candidature, a deliberate but punitive strategy of PDP on the voter population of Anambra State has now been highlighted to the point where it needs to be solved for all times.
We made similar calls in February 2015 when it became clear that eight PDP members were claiming three candidature positions for the Senate for instance in the state and a PDP stalwart confessed on the strategy of using multiple candidates to cheat other parties.

We were then appalled that the National leadership of PDP, rather than solve the problem was stoking the fire for its own ends which served everything , but the interest of Anambra State and the nation..
It is a story not too pleasant to the ears of present and future generations of Anambra State citizens that at a time when the historic budget of change that clearly departs from oil to non-oil sectors in emphasis, which holds out extended promises for the economy of Anambra State, nay Nigeria is being considered, there are arguments for and against a college of Anambra State federal legislators leaving the National Assembly together.
That this headache is from the same party that has visited brigandage and left no legacy but malpractices and impunity, strongly damaging the political and moral psyche of growing army of Anambra youth is indicative that enough should now be enough.
We in the APC hereby call on the National Aassembly to further amend the 2010 Electoral Act, to empower INEC to remove from the list of candidates prior to publication any party and all its candidates who are unable to agree on a single candidate in a constituency as provided by law at the close of submission, eliminating plural candidature in whatever guise.
The removal of such names of parties and candidates from the list and ballot should close campaign for such parties and candidates, failing which a criminal offence with clear penalities should be spelt out.
We consider this a natural incentive to genuinely disagreeing parties to quickly reconcile, and a disincentive for those turning parallel candidature into a deliberate ,albeit evil strategy to desist, as in a democracy, the votes from registered voters remain the medium of conveying political power and not the technicalities of different layers of courts, long after the fact of elections.
We seize this opportunity to advise Nigerians particularly of Anambra State stock not to be deterred by the embarrassment thrown on Anambra State by the PDP,but to bear through it in the hope that this is the beginning of the end.
In the meantime, we advise strongly against self-help interpretations of the order of the Supreme Court on January 29, 2016, which did not go beyond addressing the internal feud in PDP and the issue of deciding who the candidates of PDP are in the legislative elections of March 28, 2016 and April 11, 2016, long after the people have voted.
We encourage those who clearly do not understand the letters and spirit of the given judgment of the apex court and cannot get sufficient help from their legal luminaries to approach the courts for further
interpretation, rather than forment trouble with any aspect of the judgment which was meant to clean up an existing mess, not to precipitate more. We are more more particular about institutions who must find the will not to act in haste to further distort the Anambra State political barometer beyond the injury inflicted by PDP so far.
Consequently, we advise those who wish to reap where they have not sown in a democracy guided by enough rules to be well advised in avoiding provocative statements, capable of leading to the breakdown of law and order, understanding that there are no short-cuts to ascending to public offices in the legislature ,bypassing votes from registered voters to specific candidates and parties..
Once again we commend the understanding and maturity displayed by Anambra citizens, even in their utmost embarrassment for being in the news for the wrong reasons and urge them to extend it until all issues thrown up by the Supreme Court are finally understood and applied by all.
We wish our brothers and sisters in Anambra Central Senatorial Zone well in their up-coming repeat elections and trust that INEC in the state will do their best to keep the process transparent , free and fair.

For: ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC),ANAMBRA STATE CHAPTER
Okelo Madukaife
State Publicity Secretary

Awka January 31, 2016

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