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INEC CAN'T DICTATE TO US ON PRIMARIES, SAYS PDP

By NBF News
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AGAINST the backdrop of crises trailing some primary elections conducted by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party yesterday said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) could not dictate to it as long as the date set by the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) had not elapsed. PDP last week, announced plans to hold re-run elections in Kogi, Delta and Kano states.

Meanwhile, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday rejected the result of the PDP's presidential primary election won by President Goodluck Jonathan.

In a communiqué after its Council Executive meeting chaired by Gen. Ibrahim B.M. Haruna (rtd), the northern group said: 'The emergence of Dr. Jonathan as the Presidential candidate is legally and morally wrong because it is a violation of that party's constitution which clearly requires that, under the zoning formula, a northerner be returned as candidate in the 2011 general elections'.

The ACF which x-rayed the outcome of the primaries of other political parties further stressed: ' The meeting came to the conclusion that the process within most of the major parties fell short of the expectations of Nigerians as they were thoroughly compromised'.

Speaking in Abuja, National Legal Adviser of the PDP, Olusola Oke, acknowledged that there were some primaries which the party had not concluded because of perceived irregularities or some technicalities.

But Oke said: 'These are elections which were either not concluded or were concluded on the field and we found that they were marred with gross irregularities and had to be cancelled. They could not have produced candidates that will win election for us.

'We believe that until the time limit by law comes in, we are entitled to handle our primary as to how our candidates will emerge.  NEC is a creation of law; it cannot appropriate to itself power that is not given by law. PDP is also a creation of the Constitution, we know our rights and limitations under the Constitution. We are still doing our internal process.

'By the time we conclude it, we will send our list to INEC and INEC is under obligation to accept it' provided such met the requirements of the Electoral Act and is done before 45 days to the election and we are still more than two months to the day of election.'