The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has described the plan by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) to field fresh candidates in the court-ordered senatorial election re-run in Anambra Central district as illegal.
The Court of Appeal judgment seating in Enugu not only nullified the election of Senator Uche Ekwunife but disqualified her from participating in the re-run under the PDP platform.
Similarly, for the APC, its candidate in the senatorial election, Senator Chris Ngige, has said he would rather continue with his job as minister than participate in the re-run election, thus leaving the stage for APGA’s candidate, Chief Victor Umeh.
Addressing journalists yesterday in his office, the National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Oye, said it would amount to an illegality for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow both PDP and APC to field fresh candidates for the re- run election in the Anambra senatorial district.
Oye, who made references to Supreme Court judgments said: “I want to make very clear that once a court orders for a re-run, it is only the dramatist personas in the election that was cancelled that should participate in the same re-run. Nobody else should be involved or go contrary to this. It will amount to an illegality and it is not recognised by the law.
He said the party was surprised that a lot of kites was being flown all over the place, especially on whether Mrs. Uche Ekwunife should contest the forthcoming re-run or not, adding that as things stands, the APGA candidate, Chief Victor Umeh is in the forefront of becoming the first senator of the party in Anambra State.”
According to Oye, the judgment of the Supreme Court made it clear that Ekwinife or any other candidate for that matter is not fit and proper to participate in the coming election in Anambra Central senatorial district.
The APGA chairman said the scenario that may play out if those not qualified were allowed to run, “is like if one is in a relay race with six athletes participating in it and there was a false start, are you going to ask new people to restart the race or are you going to allow the same people continue with the race? That is exactly what is going to happen in the Anambra Central senatorial district.
“I want us to understand that the judgment of the Supreme Court on several cases have outlawed her (Ekwunife) participation in the senatorial election re-run.
Oye said as far as APGA was concerned, any other candidate who is thrown up by any of the parties no matter how they emerge will not be recognised by the law and us.
He described attempts to organize fresh primaries in APC and PDP for the re-run election in the Anambra Central district as nothing but an absurdity, adding that APGA would not be part of it.
He threatened that the party would employ legal avenues t ensure that such illegality never stands.
He also expressed the hope that INEC being a law-abiding institution and umpire of elections in Nigeria would do the needful by issuing a definite statement on the matter.
“It any other candidate other than the dramatist persona were allowed to participate in that election, it will render the process flawed. The lawful thing to do will be to allow all those who have passed through the primaries and taking part in the cancelled election to do the race again.
He pointed out that the constitution and the electoral law do not allow for a fresh primary and that is why we are shouting, making it clear to the whole world that our party, APGA will not be a party to any form of illegality.
“By stating it’s position on the matter, it will douse tension in the area and foreclose any chances of unscrupulous persons from using the opportunity to torment trouble that may lead to conflagration in our nation’s political system,” he said.
Oye also spoke on the ongoing fight against corruption and spate of arrests and detentions by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) cautioning the anti graft agency to respect the rule of law.
He said APGA was in support of the crusade against corruption in its totality but that care must taken to avoid infringement on human rights.
The party chairman further commented on the pending governorship election petition in Nassarawa State, assuring of the party’s tacit support for its candidate and former Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, to go the whole hog and secure victory. (Thisday)