The Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has condemned the PresidentGoodluck Jonathan for seeking to assume the role of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, by describing the rerun election to the Imo House of Assembly in Oguta as inconclusive.
The party in a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday by its national publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed, said that it is none of president’s duties to determine whether the election was ‘inconclusive’ or marred by ‘violence and irregularities’.
”To the best of our knowledge, it is either the candidates or the parties involved in an election that can take a legal recourse over any perceived irregularities. It therefore baffles us that the presidency has rushed to declare the election inconclusive and marred by rigging, and to call for the prosecution of those involved, simply because its preferred candidate lost.” It said.
ACN said that annulment of results in eight of the 232 polling booths for one reason or other is not enough to make an election ‘inconclusive’, as the presidency did.
The party accused the presidency of being selective in its quest for the prosecution of those who rig or engage in violence during elections.
“The presidency is wrong in trying to pre-empt INEC, simply because the PDP candidate lost the election to the Okorochafaction of APGA.”
It further queried: “Would the presidency have raised the alarm if the victor had come from the Obi faction of APGA? Why didn’t the presidency speak up over the Ondo State Governorship election that was marred by massive violence and rigging? Is it because itsfavoured candidate won?
The party warned that there must be fairness in dealing with perpetrators of election rigging or violence irrespective of parties they belong.
It said the presidency is jittery on the outcome of the election inOguta which may be a referendum on the leadership of President Jonathan and a sign of things to come.
”The presidency should be prepared for more of the drubbing they received in Oguta, because henceforth, that is what will happen to the PDP in subsequent elections. It is a sign of things to come; hence the presidency is right to be jittery. But what it has no right to do is to usurp the role of election umpire or assume the role of a political party,” the ACN said