…says no provision for voice vote in Electoral Act
Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission not to recognise the newly-elected National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole.
It said that his emergence by affirmation was in violation of democratic requirements of direct voting by delegates.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, made the position of the party known while receiving party leaders from Kabba/Bunu area of Kogi State at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja on Wednesday.
He also asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to commence an investigation into the reports that the 24 governors elected on the platform of the APC allegedly diverted N150m each, amounting to N3.6bn, from their state coffers, to fund the APC’s national convention.
The convention was held in Abuja on Saturday.
Ologbondiyan also accused President Muhammadu Buhari of complicity in the alleged acts of corruption that he said had pervaded his administration and party and, therefore, submitted that contrary to claims by cronies, he (Buhari) was practically lacking in integrity.
Ologbondiyan stated that the party on its own chose to ignore the provision of the Electoral Act by adopting voice voting to elect their national officials despite the fact that party members aspiring to various offices came to the venue of the convention to participate in the voting processes.
He said that the process that produced Oshiomhole was faulty, alleging that it violated some sections of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
Section 85 (3) of the Electoral Act (as Amended) states, “The election of members of the executive committee or other governing body of a political party, including the election to fill a vacant position in any of these bodies, shall be conducted in a democratic manner and allowing for all members of the party or duly elected delegates to vote in support of a candidate of their choice.”
Ologbondiyan recalled that when the PDP used the same method to elect some of its national officers some years ago, the electoral body nullified their elections by refusing to recognise them.
He said, “Party (APC) members were openly harassed, beaten, humiliated and forced to withdraw at gunpoint. After that, they used a prepared list from where they announced the names of their national officers through voice vote to affirm the illegality at the Eagle Square.
“When the PDP did a similar thing, INEC declared the convention null and void. So, we are calling on the commission to do the same for the APC in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act, as amended.
“Oshiomhole and some officers of the party were not elected. Nobody voted for them. There is no provision of voice vote in the Electoral Act. The Act is superior to party’s constitution.”
The PDP spokesman wondered why the APC governors could allegedly dip their hands into state covers when they were even finding it difficult to pay salaries of civil servants.
Ologbondiyan said, “It is unimaginable that while Nigerians are suffering untold economic hardship, including unpaid salaries, due to the misrule of the APC, governors elected on the platform of the APC diverted N150m each, amounting to a humongous N3.6bn to fund their wasteful national convention in Abuja.
“Recently, the Brooking Report shows that under President Buhari and APC governors, millions of Nigerians are daily dropping below the poverty line. According to the report, Nigeria under Buhari has become poverty capital of the world. There is hunger and starvation everywhere, yet the APC stole N3.6bn from public coffers to fund its national convention.”
“Everybody knows that APC is a party of corruption, that is why their choice of a national chairman is an individual overburdened by allegations of humongous corruption and alleged stealing of public funds, yet enjoying presidential cover, even when the petitions against him at the EFCC are in the public domain.
“The PDP restates the demand that the EFCC immediately commence investigation against Oshiomhole, otherwise, it would have no ground upon which to continue to arrest, investigate and arraign other Nigerians on allegations of corruption.”
When contacted, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said, “We will react when you publish.”