Senator Ayogu Eze of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State, who filed a petition before the election tribunal, over conduct of the last governorship election in the state, has again hinted on his plan to formally withdraw the petition.
The election was won by the incumbent governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
Senator Eze gave the hint to newsmen when the Enugu State Traditional Rulers’ Council, led by its Chairman, HRH Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu paid him a visit at his Enugu residence, yesterday to appeal to him to withdraw the petition he submitted to the tribunal in the overall interest of the state, “present and future generations of Enugu State”.
He described the intervention by the royal fathers as the climax of it all.
The APC chieftain, who noted that he had received several groups of notable personalities on the same mission, added that the visit by the revered royal fathers who are “the custodians of our culture and tradition” was “really a mark of honour and respect”, saying: “I am highly honoured by their presence”.
He therefore, reassured the monarchs that their “efforts to bring peace shall not be in vain” and told them that he will revert to them “within the next one or two days”.
His words: “I am highly honoured by their presence. I want to assure them that their effort to bring peace shall not be in vain. I have told the chairman that within the next one or two days, I will revert to him. I have been consulting widely and I also need to talk to the leadership of my party on this visit, because this visit by traditional rulers is indeed a turning point.
“I have had visitations from other groups but this is the height of it. I want to assure them that their visit shall not be in vain”.
Amb. Agubuzu, who spoke earlier to journalists after the closed-door meeting with Senator Eze said they came on behalf of the people of Enugu State and the traditional rulers in particular, “to appeal to our own illustrious son, Distinguished Senator Ayogu Eze, to withdraw the petition which he submitted to the tribunal over the governorship election that took place in Enugu State.
The royal father disclosed that they discussed extensively with Senator Eze, asking him to “honour us by agreeing to withdraw that petition” saying: “He is somebody we all know. He is our son, we love him, we like him and that is why we are appealing to him, that in the interest of not only the present generation, but the future generation of Enugu State, he should withdraw the petition.”
According to him, “we are here representing the people of Enugu State generally and the traditional rulers in particular. We feel that at this juncture, we should appeal to our sons in politics in Enugu State, to close ranks and work as one for the progress and prosperity of the state.”
Political Space Is Only For Parties Ready To Take Power – Okoye
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’s), Festus Okoye, national Commissioner on Information and Voter Education has reminded Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) that political space is meant for political parties that are ready to take power, maintaining that political associations can exist, mobilise, build structures before seeking registration, as soon as they get registered they must be ready to take power.
Okoye said this while speaking on a local media station after the High Court adjourned hearing in the case filed by 33 political parties under the auspices of IPAC, challenging their deregistration by INEC.
The national commissioner reminded IPAC that as registered political parties, they should be ready to take power, because the space was not for learning, as the electoral body would be prepared to de-register any political partyand relegate it to an association if it found out that the party failed to meet the threshold of its registration, in accordance with the 1999 Constitution.
“The political parties contesting did not meet the terms of their registration, neither did they win elections in their various states, nor met the projections. Two of the parties that went to court, Labour Party and African Democratic Party, were not deregistered. They claimed they had court injunctions and I don’t know what they are doing in court.”
“The spirit and intent of the constitution, is that political associations can exist, mobilize people, build up structures. The moment they come for registration means they are ready to take power. If you are not due for political power, you should not apply for registration, because the political space is not for learning or testing the ground”, he said.
Okoye said that 74 political parties had been deregistered and the deregistion had already taken place.
He maintained that because the 33 political parties that went to court were aware that deregistration had taken place, that was why on 14 February they filed an application in court, asking the court to reverse it.
The INEC official stated that the act had already been completed, that was why the court adjourned till 27 February for accelerated hearing.
IPAC Hails Court Order Restraining INEC From De-Registering 31 Parties
The Inter-Party Adversary Council (IPAC) has described the judgment stopping the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from deregistering political parties as victory for democracy and future generations.
National chairman of the council, Peter Ameh, who made the comment while addressing newsmen shortly after the ruling, said the late Gani Fawehinmi gave the 33 political parties that went to court the courage.
Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in her ruling, said, having failed to counter the application by the applicants, the affected political parties had the legal right, which must be protected.
In an interlocutory motion with suit number FHC/ABJ/ CS/444/19 between Advanced Congress of Democratis (ACD) and two others vs. Attorney-General of the Federation and another (INEC), the applicants had on October 30, 2019, approached the court.
The IPAC chairman insisted that there was no way the commission would have succeeded in the illegality it perpetrated against the parties and the fundamental rights of Nigerians.
“We have every reason to thank everybody who stood against this illegality, especially Okey Raph Nwosu, who, despite his party scaling the deregistration hurdle, still joined in the suit because he believed in democracy.
“We believe in the spirit of the Constitution as stated in Section 40, which gave Nigerians the right to freely belong to any political association, and the Constitution stipulated that no agency of government can restrict that right.
“We started this case since last year when we saw that there was plan to put Nigeria upside down. It is our right to defend the constitution through section 225 to challenge the commission to stop it from taking this illegal action.
“INEC should know that if the interest of a political party is to talk about free education, the party should be allowed. If the interest is to talk about tree planting in the North-East, it should be allowed to continue with it.
Group Advises Women On Increased Participation In Politics
Enugu State chapter of the Nigeria League of Women Voters, has urged women to be very active in politics to avoid marginalisation.
The state chairperson of the league, Mrs Nnenna Anozie made the call in an interview with our source in Enugu yesterday.
was a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) that aims at empowering women both politically and economically.
She said that the league encouraged women to participate in election; adding that they discovered that in the last elections, many women did not participate either as voters or contestants in the elections.
Anozie said that the organisation aimed creating more awareness on the girl child and for every woman to be aware of her civil rights in the state and the country at large.
The chairperson said the group recently visited one of the girls schools in Enugu where they shared sanitary pads, carried out sensitisation awareness on dangers of drug abuse, rape and others.
”This is one way of giving back to the society as well as empowering our women because knowledge is power. Most of them are not knowledgeable about their rights and how to keep hygiene.
”Many of them are rape victims and they are not opening up because of stigmatisation.
”We want to embark on the sensitisation drive in all the states in the country; hoping that come 2023 most of our women will be equipped to run for political offices both at the local, state and national levels,” she said.
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