BY MBACHU GODWIN, Abuja
The national chairman of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Chief Ralph Okey Nwosu, has faulted the timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Counci elections, describing it as impromptu.
In a statement jointly issued by Nwosu and ADC national legal adviser, Barr. Peter Iyiola Oyewole, on Wednesday, the party called on INEC to abide by the recognised protocol and standard practice for the FCT council elections.
ADC argued that the INEC schedule runs contrary to the practice that has been in place since 22 years of democratic dispensation, adding that continuing with the election as it is been sheduled will complicate the already incapacitation of INEC on handling credible and transparent elections.
The statement reads: “We note with concern the sudden fixtures of Party Primaries as in ‘Time Table and schedule of Area Councils Election’ announced by your office on the 31st of March 2021.
“We register our strong reservation and wonder how an election regimen that is well known to produce winners who are to be sworn in not before May 29th 2022 should begin with an impromptu emergency primary nomination exercise.
“The commission fails to understand that the process of getting quality candidates is more important than the election itself. We make the following observations and hereby call on the institution to abide by recognized protocols, just and ethical practices for more efficient electoral system for FCT and the Country.
“That this is the first time since the emergence of the 4th Republic that INEC will not give political parties ample time to plan and host credible, free and fair primary election that will impact positively on the internal Democratic processes of political parties.
“The Electoral Act 2010 provides for not later than 150 days and not earlier than 90 for the announcement of the election but the Elections, which will hold on 19th February 2022, was announced on 31st March 2021(which is almost one year gap). We smell rat on the raison d’etre for INEC’s directives for on-the-spot conduct of party primaries in April,” they added.