Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Camapign Council in Kogi State has passed a vote of no confidence on the State Police Commissioner, Busari Hakeem and warned that with his presence, Kogi people should not expect rancour-free election by November 16.
Deputy Director, Public Communication of the Council, Austin Okai Usman in a statement said the police activities in the state have been reduced to taking instructions from the APC- led government in the state.
The council noted that with serious concern, the activities of the state police command under the current CP, has reduced the contest to a battle between the Police and PDP.
“ This is a clear indication that virtually all government officials in Kogi and top APC members and their thugs, were being protected and at the same time using the state police Commissioner’s men to chase, harass, intimidate and threaten to kill PDP members across the state”
The council said the police hierarchy under Busari Hakeem lacked the partial stance to supervise and monitor the election while urging the IG to urgently effect his removal without further delay to avoid breakdown of law and order in the state.
The PDP also expressed serious reservation on the continuous detention of DCP Ejeh Suleiman Abutu in SARS custody who was abducted by APC private army from his residence, taken to Dekina Governor’s lodge, tortured for confession under duress and later forced the police hierarchy to accept the records of the illegal activities of Bello/Onoja’s men.
PDP also appealed to the IG to without further delay remove the police Commissioner in the interest of fair play, security of lives and properties and to avoid reprisal attacks from any side of the political divide, particularly the PDP.
The council said it has also been informed of the plans by the state government to enlist and incorporate the army on special operation, into the unholy desire to retain power at all costs.
It also asked the Commandant, Army Records, Major General Adewale Ogunkale to closely monitor the activities of his men, so as to insulate them from the ongoing infiltration of security agents by the state government.
But when contacted for his reaction, the CP expressed sadness that in spite of all he was doing with his men to ensure a free and fair election, some people are still castigating him, stressing that why must it be the PDP alone in all the political parties that is always complaining.
His words: “ Honestly, PDP is not fair to me for accusing me wrongly; they asked for police security, we provided them, we have never treated any party above the other and if any of my men are caught conducting themselves in a way that is not professional, let them call my attention to it and we will deal with them.
“ I know this is the time of election and every party is using all means to get power. I Know a man was arrested with guns, they should allow the police to do their job; if he is not found wanting, he would be released, but let them not give a dog a bad name in order to hang it”.
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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