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Thursday, 3 November 2016

Ondo Crisis: INEC Speaks on the Postponement of Gubernatorial Election

The Independent National Electoral Commission has vowed not to shift the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State because of the intra-party crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party.



According to the electoral body, the leadership crisis and litigation process rocking the PDP is not enough to shift the scheduled date - November 26, according to the Punch.

This is coming on the heels of rumours from Abuja that the warring PDP factions are concluding plans to pressurize INEC into postponing the election as gubernatorial candidates, Eyitayo Jegede and Jimoh Ibrahim slug it out at the Appellate court.

Presently, the party is factionalised between Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Senator Ahmed Makarfi as leaders. Both leaders had submitted names of different candidates for the election.

But while INEC had picked Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim from the Sheriff faction as the PDP candidate, the Makarfi faction had gone to court, insisting that Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), should fly the party’s flag during the election.

INEC said it took the decision based on court order and judgement, an action which the Makarfi camp has challenged at the Court of Appeal. Whether the two factions are able to resolve their differences before the date picked for the election or not, INEC insisted that it would not because of that shift the election.

The commission said that the crisis within the two factions did not fall among the reasons given by the Electoral Act to shift or postpone the election.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, told a correspondent in an interview in Abuja on Wednesday that the commission would go ahead with the planned election.

He said, “The process for postponing or shifting of elections are spelt out in the Electoral Act as amended. One of the reasons is natural disaster. No aspect of the reasons stated for this include intra-party crisis as we are witnessing in the party you have mentioned.

“Under the Electoral Act, intra-party conflict is not recognised as one of the reasons why INEC must shift the date of an election we have given notice of since March.

“As I speak today, there is no plan to postpone it. We are going ahead with the election as slated for November 26.”

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