With the rerun election in Plateau Northern Senatorial zone looming just 48 hours away, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) dropped a bombshell, announcing that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would be sidelined from the forthcoming polls.
Mohammed Haruna, the INEC National Commissioner overseeing the North-Central geopolitical zone, made this revelation during an inspection of sensitive materials for the impending election in Jos, the State Capital, on Thursday.
In response to this exclusion, the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in the state, represented by its chairman, Abubakar Dogara, issued a stern warning. “The position of IPAC is that it is either PDP participates in the election or all parties will not take part because the Court of Appeal said all political parties should participate in the election,” Dogara emphasized.
Expressing dismay at the sudden turn of events, Dogara added, “We were not informed that one of us will not be part of the election… just two days to the election.”
In defense of INEC’s decision, Dogara cited legal precedents, stating, “We had a meeting with political parties right before now and told them that in a rerun, disqualified candidates and political parties cannot participate… the Supreme Court has ruled about it in Labour versus INEC several years ago.”
He further highlighted the gravity of the situation, emphasizing the importance of peace over electoral processes. “We prefer peace on the Plateau rather than elections or anything,” Dogara stressed, underscoring the fragile nature of peace in the region.
As tensions escalate and uncertainty looms over the rerun election, stakeholders await further developments amidst the standoff between INEC, the PDP, and other political parties.