Electoral Act Is Over Regulating Parties – Okowa’s Aide
*Says INEC Is Indulging APC
The Senior Political Adviser to the governor of Delta State, Rt. Hon. Funkekeme Solomon, has called for the scrapping of Section 84 (8) of the Electoral Act, saying that some provisions in the law amount to ridiculing the democratic process.
According him, the Act is over regulating political parties and denying them the opportunity to be inventive and proactive in improving the dynamism inherent in multi party democracy.
Solomon spoke in Asaba in a Delta Broadcasting Service (DBS) television current affairs programme, The Faculty. He accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of pandering to the interests of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
“By suddenly extending the deadline for the conduct of primaries by the parties and the time it chose to announce it, INEC was basically indulging the APC which had displayed the lack of organisation and focus that have been the hallmark of the party in the past seven years.
“After insisting that it will not alter the election time table and after both APC and PDP had conducted primaries up to governorship level with PDP already gathered to conduct its presidential primary, there is no logic in INEC’s decision to suddenly extend the deadline by one week. The fact that APC promptly postponed its presidential primary afterwards shows INEC was not altruistic in its decision and the timing”, Solomon said.
He said that if INEC had kept faith with its agenda, APC should have been without a presidential candidate. “Going by the rules, APC should be deemed not to have a presidential candidate. It smarcks of connivance for INEC to unilaterally shift the goal post at a time the parties had almost concluded the primaries to favour a party that is not prepared to play by the rules that had been long established by the electoral umpire. It is a cause for serious concern.
“But despite having the goal post shifted in its favour, APC has shown that its disastrous management of the economy and polity is not an accident. It showed that the party is not organized and has no capacity to make Nigeria prosper,” Solomon, a one time deputy speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, said.
On the conduct and outcome of PDP primaries in Delta State, he said the process was transparent with every stakeholder in the party involved.
“Everything was done in accordance with the party’s constitution. That is why peace pervaded the exercise and result was rancour-free,” he said.
According to him, the party has already initiated the process of restoring the warm relationship among the aspirants. He said Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori who emerged the PDP flag bearer for the gubernatorial election will lead the party to victory.
“He is humble, focused and understands the developmental challenges facing Delta State. He will be a worthy successor to Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa”, Solomon said of the speaker of Delta State House of Assembly.