PDP questions INEC’s impartiality over NWC report

Nigeria’s ruling party said it is discussing with elected public officials to resolve the crisis.

Conspicuous fear, on Monday, gripped the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, over a report by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which declared the national convention that produced the party leaders as faulty and illegal.

However, in a clear bold face, the party’s spokesman, Olisa Metuh, who was one of the members of the National Working Committee, NWC, affected by the damning report, said it is “abnormal and sinister.”

INEC, according to the document, faulted the processes that produced 12 of the 16-member NWC last year, saying it violated paragraph 6.5 (1) of the guidelines for the conduct of the 2012 congresses and national convention and, therefore, unacceptable.

The rule says nobody should emerge unopposed.

Those affected apart from Mr. Metuh are the Deputy National Chairman, Sam Sam Jaja; National Organising Secretary Abubakar Mustapha; Deputy National Organising Secretary, Okechukwu Nnadozie; Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Binta Goje; National Youth Leader, Garba Chiza; Deputy Youth Leader, Dennis Alonge Niyi; Deputy National Auditor, Umar Ibrahim; National Women Leader, Kema Chikwe; Deputy National Women Leader, Hannatu Ulam; Deputy National Treasurer, Claudus Inengas; and National Legal Adviser, Victor Kwom.

The INEC report, however, cleared four members of the NWC as duly elected. They are the National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur; sacked National Secretary, Olagunsoye Oyinlola; sacked National Auditor, Bode Mustapha; and National Financial Secretary, Bolaji Anani.

Part of the Report reads: “The mode of election adopted for single candidates were not in accordance with the mode of election stipulated in paragraph 6.9 of the Guidelines for the conduct of year 2012 Congresses and National Convention and therefore unacceptable to the commission”

“All other positions had single candidates and were affirmed by motion except for the position of National Chairman which was put to vote by open secret ballot despite having only one candidate”

INEC observed in its report that: “Open secret ballot system was adopted for the election into the offices of National Chairman, National Secretary, Auditor, Financial Secretary, Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer in accordance with paragraph 6.9 of the guidelines for the conduct of year 2012 congresses and National Convention”.

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Mr. Metuh, in an interview with journalists in Abuja, faulted the timing of the report, alleging that the commission has a special interest in the matter.

“You see, our worry is this: Why would INEC wait till after one year to release a report to fault the convention? Who is pushing INEC to do this? The report is sinister and abnormal. What is the motive? Why is it coming now? Why the special interest in the PDP?

“We are also worried about the aspect of INEC report that said that our convention was not in compliance with its guidelines and as such unacceptable,” the spokesperson said.

The ruling party’s spokesman insisted that that it complied fully with its constitution and therefore has no need to be worried about the commission’s report.

“In as much as we complied with our party’s constitution in the convention, we have no problems. So INEC cannot say it is unacceptable,” Mr. Metuh said.

Mr. Metuh could not, however, disclose the latest source of the present crisis in the party, but added quickly that the leadership is fully in touch with President Goodluck Jonathan, the party’s governors and lawmakers on the matter.

He had, in a statement on Sunday, accused a “tiny cabal” of plotting against the NWC.

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