23 parties ask INEC to postpone elections in Borno by five months

The Borno state chapter of the Inter-Party ‎Advisory Council on Thursday called for the postponement of elections in the state by five months.

The council cited the insecurity in the state and a charged political climate as reasons for the call.

IPAC, which comprises all registered political parties in the state, said an interim government should be formed in the state when the tenure of the present government elapses due to the postponement.

Reading a statement signed by 23 party representatives, including two governorship candidates in the state, Babagana Musa, who is the branch chairman of IPAC, said “registered voters not getting their Permanent Voters Cards, insecurity of opposition parties in the state, indecent activities of the Civilian-JTF, and promotion of thuggery” are enough reasons for elections to be suspended in the state.

The parties which signed the statement are Independent Democrat, Social Democratic Party, Democratic Peoples Party, New Nigerian Peoples Party, Peoples Democratic Congress, Labour Party, Mega Progressives Peoples Party, Advanced Congress of Democrats, African Democratic Congress, Unity Party of Nigeria, African Peoples Alliance, United Democratic Party, Citizens Popular Party, Fresh Democratic Party, United Progressives Party, Peoples Party of Nigeria, Peoples Democratic Movement, National Conscience Party and Hope Democratic Party.

The All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party were absent at the event and did not sign the statement.

“After holding series of stakeholders’ meetings, we finally resolved that it was necessary to call for the extension of the 2015 general elections in Borno state, to September 2015,” Mr. Musa said. “After a long wait, up to this moment, INEC has not distributed PVCs in 175 polling units. This means approximately 500,000 eligible voters will be denied the right to vote in 2015.

“Besides that, the lives and safety of opposition party officials and supporters are in great danger due to activities of the ruling party’s thugs. Members of the opposition parties/IPAC are continually receiving SMS threatening their lives if they fail to support the incumbent government. A case in point was recent incident when flags of opposition were destroyed and supporters ‎beaten to state of coma when the governor was on a visit to the General hospital.

“Similarly, the ruling APC has violated section 94 (1) by possession of weapons at rally; while Section 96 (1) was also violated as the ruling party has ‎directly or indirectly used force and violence during political campaigns”.

“We therefore call on the National Assembly to set in motion a resolution to constitute a government of state unity on 29th May, 2015 at the expiration of the incumbent administration so that all good people of Borno will have a sense of belonging.”

The APC in Borno has since dismissed the call and called for the arrest of the 23 signatories of the statement issued for the postponement of the elections.

“The APC hereby calls on security agencies in Borno to arrest and prosecute some 23 political parties calling for Interim Government in Borno State despite recent clarification by President Goodluck Jonathan declaring any call for Interim Government as treasonable offence that is punishable under Nigerian laws”, the APC chairman, Mr. Dalori said.

He added that the 23 parties were acting the script of a former governor of the state “who is desperate to take over power at all cost even if it means sending the state into extinction”.

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