Factional chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Chief Peter Ameh, has warned that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would put Edo and Ondo states governorship elections in jeopardy should it go ahead to conduct the elections without the 31 parties that obtained an interlocutory order restraining INEC from de-registering political parties.
Ameh who spoke to newsmen Tuesday said conducting the elections without the 31 de-registered political parties would amount to “hanging the fate of those elections in a delicate balance”.
He added that the 31 political parties reserve the right to participate in the elections having obtained the order from an Abuja High Court.
Ameh, who is also chairman of de-registered Progressives Peoples Alliance (PPA), said the elections would be null and void as far as the interest of the 31 political parties and the interest of the Nigerian people are not protected.
“So if INEC goes ahead to conduct Edo and Ondo elections exempting the 31 parties that have an order, they are putting those elections in jeopardy. Sincerely, I have been here for a long time.
“They are putting those elections in a delicate balance because these people are going to do a post hearing for their case, we have a right to participate because we have an order restraining INEC from doing certain things. For us, these elections are null and void as far as our interest and the interest of the Nigerian people are not protected.”
He urged INEC to revert to status quo ante and carry along all de-registered political parties in the conduct of the elections.
“The fact is that we are not even asking that INEC should wait till the end of the case. There is already an order and we cannot be a Banana Republic. Parties that have court order, INEC must respect that and revert to status quo ante.
“As far as these parties are concerned, these parties were in court before INEC carried out the action and INEC did not even show regard to file in one paper to tell the court why they should go ahead with their decision but went ahead inspire of the decision of the court. This is the recklessness that we are talking about now.
“By exempting the 31 parties, INEC is being lawless by not obeying the court order. For us, we have served INEC and the order of enrolment has been made on INEC. So, it is the recklessness of the system that INEC is not obeying court order. But for me, what we are fighting is for multi-party democracy and not because of our personal interest. It is because of the future of the country.
“We are children of non politicians but we came into this political fray through the democratic opportunity that the multi-party democracy created and you look at what we have made for ourselves- our names and our link- that link is not supposed to be closed to my children, it is not supposed to be closed to your children, it is not supposed to be closed to the children of the down-trodden because when you restrict the political space, when you contrast/reduce it, it erodes the opportunity for them to get into such position.”