Ten Nigeria political parties reject calls for shift of February 14 General Election

February 5, 2015 5:35 pm
 

“We call on Nigerians to be vigilant and protect their hard-earned
democracy and their freedom to choose those who will govern them.
Nigerians must know freedom is not given on a platter of gold. It is
earned and, like all truly democratic nations, the time has come for us
to earn our freedom from those whose agenda is to subjugate us for sixty
uninterrupted years whether we like it or not. The alternative to this
is to allow ourselves and our children to be enslaved by those who do
not wish us and our country well.”
They also said henceforth their slogan would be “On February 14 we stand.”
On Wednesday, Mr. Oyegun said the APC was “encouraged by the fact
that has restated in clear and unambiguous terms its determination
and ability to conduct the elections as planned.”

Ten registered political parties on Thursday kicked against the
demand by 16 other parties that this month’s general elections be
postponed.
They stated their position at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday.
The parties made their stand known a day after ’s leading
opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, similarly rejected
the call for the delay of the polls.
The APC Chairman, John Oyegun, had during a press conference in Abuja
on Wednesday, said the party would not accept the postponement of the
elections.
The 16 parties and four presidential candidates had at a press
conference on Tuesday in Abuja called on the Independent National
Electoral Commission, INEC, to shift the dates of the elections
originally scheduled for February 14 and 28.
The parties said the current security situation in the north east
zone of the country and the untidy manner the Commission handled the
distribution of the Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs, informed their demand.
They also threatened to boycott the polls if their demand was not met.
However, the 10 parties said on Thursday that they were shocked at
the conduct of 16 of their colleagues “who have joined the infamous
campaign to scuttle Nigeria’s hard-earned democracy by calling for the
postponement of the general election barely a week before the election
is to commence.”
The parties are the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM; African Peoples
Alliance, APA; KOWA Party; Mega Progressives Peoples Party, MPPP;
Social Democratic Party, SDP; African Democratic Congress, ADC; Hope
Democratic Party, HDP; Democratic Peoples Party, DPP; United
Progressives Party, UPP; Accord Party, AP.
“We condemn, in the strongest terms possible, this underhand and
undemocratic tactic meant to plunge our country into anarchy, on top of
the debilitating state of insecurity which has become pervasive in the
land,” the parties said.
“The call for the postponement of the general election has nothing to
do with the preparedness of Independent National Electoral Commission
to conduct the election or the pace of distribution and collection of
Permanent Voters Card.
“INEC, the authority empowered by law to fix the date of the election
had said, countless times, it is ready and prepared to conduct a free,
fair and credible election on February 14th and 28th. As a matter of
fact, Prof. Attahiru Jega, Chairman of INEC and his colleagues in the
Commission had stated time and time again, that they had four years to
prepare for the election and they will deliver better election this time
around.
“The military led by the Chief of Defence Staff had guaranteed
adequate security on land and air for a successful and safe conduct of
the 2015 general election.”
They argued that the assurances ought to have settled the fears about
the security of lives and property as well as of the electorates and
INEC officials.
The parties also said governors and citizens of the States under
attack by insurgents had not complained either to INEC or the executive
and legislative arms of government that their citizens would be
disenfranchised if elections were held in their states.
They alleged that the call for the shift in the dates of the election
was “orchestrated by one of the political parties which had continued
to invest huge sums of money to ensure the elections do not hold as
scheduled, out of fear of losing power for the first time since 1999.”
They said the nation’s democracy had come of age and that Nigerians were ready for change.
“We will not allow desperation and power-mongering to scuttle it and
will do whatever is necessary to defend it and ensure that the general
election holds as scheduled,” they vowed.
The parties also called on INEC not to be intimidated by desperate
elements and to proceed with its preparations for the general election
as scheduled.
Stating that “these are trying times,” they said it was not the first
time desperate and undesirable elements would come together to scuttle
Nigeria’s democracy for their selfish ends.
“We remember June 12, 1993 and the role played by these elements to
scuttle Nigeria’s democracy and the chain of events which ensued. It is
not surprising that the same characters are again at work,” they said.
They assured the Commission they will stand by it, “shoulder to shoulder, to ensure our democracy is not undermined.”
The parties stressed, “We urge all major stakeholders, especially
well meaning Political Parties and their Presidential candidates, the
Independent National Electoral Commission and the National Assembly as
well as all the security agencies in the country to stand together to
ensure that the 2015 General Election is conducted as scheduled and
guarantee that Nigeria survives to face another general election in
2019.
“We call on friends of Nigeria and the International community at
large to stand with Nigeria in these very trying times and put pressure
on the authorities to comply with the timetable of democratic elections
as released by INEC.
“We call on Nigerians to be vigilant and protect their hard-earned
democracy and their freedom to choose those who will govern them.
Nigerians must know freedom is not given on a platter of gold. It is
earned and, like all truly democratic nations, the time has come for us
to earn our freedom from those whose agenda is to subjugate us for sixty
uninterrupted years whether we like it or not. The alternative to this
is to allow ourselves and our children to be enslaved by those who do
not wish us and our country well.”
They also said henceforth their slogan would be “On February 14 we stand.”
On Wednesday, Mr. Oyegun said the APC was “encouraged by the fact
that INEC has restated in clear and unambiguous terms its determination
and ability to conduct the elections as planned.”

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