Adamawa governorship: APC seeks suspension of curfew for good turn out of voters
THE All Progressive Congress (APC) Thursday asked theFederal Government to temporarily suspend the curfew imposed on Adamawa state to enable the people of the state to come out and exercise their civic right during the forth coming Adamawa governorship election. This was part of the decisions taken at the inaugural meeting of the National Executive Council meeting of the party attended by National Officers of the party as well as former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Atiku Abubakar. The party was however silent on the zoning formula for the 2015 elections, while also expressing concern over the role of security agents and other officials of government whom the party said has openly become partisan. Addressing newsmen at the end of the meeting which was also attended by five Governors, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the party was concerned that if the current stage of emergency will deprive many people in the state the opportunity to cast their vote. He said: “The highlight of the discussion with regard to the elections in Adamawa is that the party is very worried and concerned about the neutrality of certain public officials. “I think that one thing the party insisted on is that with the state of emergency in Adamawa state today, for an election to be free and fair, the party will insist that the curfew imposed on the state be lifted temporarily during the elections. “I don’t want to be misquoted, I don’t want to be misunderstood. We are not saying that they should lift the state of emergency. We are saying that the curfew must be suspended for the period of the election. “In the northern part of Adamawa for example, by 6.00pm, the curfew is on. We are not confident that under such a condition, you can have a free and fair election. So, we are asking the federal government to lift temporarily for the period of the election, the curfew in all parts of Adamawa state”. Mohammed stressed that the party is not worried about the recent defection of the former Chairman of ten Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu to the PDP saying that the party has since moved on. He said: “You see, the beauty of politics is the freedom of association. No party would want to lose any of its members. But we believe that the APC is such a strong brand with a strong follower-ship in Adamawa and all over Nigeria that the defection of one person will not adversely affects our fortune and we have moved on since his defection” He said: “This is the inaugural meeting of the National Executive Committee meeting of the party since it was elected. This is because immediately after the national convention, we had to battle with the elections in Ekiti, we had to contend with the impeachment threat in Adamawa and Nasarawa and we had to face the elections in Osun. “Of course, this is not to say that we have not been meeting informally. But today’s meeting is the inaugural meeting. In today’s meeting, we discussed the forthcoming elections in Adamawa, Niger and the local government elections in Delta state. We also discussed the guidelines for the primaries of the party. “We had the governor of Osun who came not only to thank the party for its support, but also warned that the party must be prepared for the monstrousity and viciousness of the opposition political party in subsequent elections. “The party discussed guidelines on primaries and principally, the party has decided that the primaries will start as early as October. We would want to ensure the participation of a large section of our people and so, we have opted for what we called a modified direct primary for the party. “INEC says that you either do a direct or indirect primary and we have opted for the direct. In other words, we have opted for a method that will ensure the participation of the largest number of our members. “We called it modified because we are also aware of certain constraints of getting all your 20 million members or thereabout to queue for election especially in areas where we have security challenges like Yobe,Adamawa and Borno. We are working out a formula that will still enable the largest members of our party to participate. “But I want to say that we are not settling for delegate elections. We want to get people from the grass root to be involved in our primaries because we want to show the world that we are different and that our party and our primaries would not only be grass root inspired, it will be transparent and free. “Don’t forget that we are going to have more than one primary election. Everybody seems to be focussing on the presidential primary. There will also be primary for members of state houses of Assembly, National Assembly and governorship election. We are going to have separate primaries staggered over a period of time. The party did not discuss anything about zoning”. Speaking on the renewed move by members of the Nasarasa state House of Assembly to impeach the state governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, The APC spokesman said “I think that the constitution of the country is very clear on this issue. “You cannot try a person twice for the same offence and the members of the Nasarawa state house of Assembly should know that they are a product of a constitution and that it is the same constitution that they invoked in trying to impeach the governor. “So, they can’t go outside that constitution again to impeach him. What they can do in law is very simple. They should find a new sets of allegations if there are any, follow the same procedure. Most importantly, they have no liberty to ask a vacation judge to go and and set up a panel. “They must go back to the same Chief Judge to empanel the impeachment committee. I think that they should understand that Nigerians are tired of this era of impunity because what they want to embark upon is just impunity. “They are saying that they are going to resubmit the same sets of allegations which has been dismissed and they are going to take advantage of the vacation and ask a vacation judge to come and set up a panel., that will be blatantly illegal. For us, it is nothing but noise”. Speaking on the conduct of public officers, he said “Honestly, we are concerned about the neutrality of certain public officials in the last couple of month. Institutions which ought to be neutral have today taken partisan roles in elections. “We are very concerned that institutions which ought to be for the entire country have in recent times behave as if they are for a particular political party. We would in a few days elaborate on his because we are going to come out with a very powerful statement especially on the role of security agencies. “We are encouraged by the statement of the INEC chairman yesterday that hoarded security personnel are not needed for any election. It is a sign of transparency for a security man who is coming to enforce laws must be transparent and the citizens have the right to know who he is, and the organization he represents and t also see his face. “Jega was quoted as saying that some INEC officials were arrested by some over zealous security officials. The story of Osun election has not been told completely because the kind of monstrosity and viciousness the PDP embarked upon is better imagined. “We have records of hoodlums who were given uniform of various security organizations. When an election gets to a level where federal institutions are now subverted and are made to work in favour of a particular political party, I think it is very dangerous not just for one election, but for the institution itself and the country as a whole. “We know that ministers and some security personnel have thrown caution to the wind and have openly identified with the PDP in the conduct of elections. This is not good for the country”.
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