The Inter-Party Advisory Committee, IPAC, umbrella body of all registered political parties in Nigeria has condemned the Enugu State Independent National Electoral Commission, ENSIEC, for setting the election timetable without consulting with the political parties.
Chairman of IPAC, Enugu State Chapter, Rev. John Nwobodo, said this at the Weekend while commenting on the forthcoming council polls in Enugu state.
The IPAC boss said that ENSIEC has no right to ask the candidates to pay money to participate in the electoral process, describing as laughable the various sums the election umpire has stipulated for the candidates to pay.
Nwobodo described the fees as illegal and said that if PDP candidates are ready to pay, others parties are not ready to pay, pointing out that should they conduct the elections without candidates of other political parties, it would be a nullity.
“The fees are illegal and the parties will not pay. We have always contested the payment of money to participate in an election. If they do the election without other parties, it will be a nullity,” the IPAC boss said.
The body also criticized the pro-Biafra group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, on their stand that the forthcoming November 18 election in Anambra State should be boycott unless referendum is conducted.
He stated that Nigeria is still one sovereign nation and as such, such a call tantamount to a joke taken too far.
Nwobodo said that IPOB has no right to ask people not to participate in an electoral process, pointing out that self-rule does not just come overnight.
Nwobodo, who is also the Enugu State chairman of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, maintained that since the areas agitating for Biafra independence are still part of Nigeria, IPOB miscalculated by giving such order that election should be boycott.
“Telling people to boycott the Anambra polls, I think is a joke taken too far by members of IPOB because we are still part of Nigeria and should participate in the electoral process,” the IPAC boss said.
He however said that in as much as they may have genuine aspiration for self-determination, they don’t have to give orders but engage in consultations and dialogue to achieve their objective.
On the supposed rejection of restructuring and devolution of powers by the National Assembly, Nwobodo said that the matter has not been concluded because they may still revisit the issue in due course.
According to him, it was a national issue that requires wild consultations with various stakeholders and opinion molders in the society. He stated that some of the legislators are not read while some of them are sectional, parochial and ethnic chauvinists, pointing out that it would take time for the issue to be sorted out in the interest of progress and development of the country.