The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Plateau State, has raised the alarm over plan by Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) to exclude the party from the October, 2021 Local Government Election in the state.
Secretary, PDP Caretaker Committee, Plateau State, Hon. Patrick Ogbu disclosed this on Friday during a press briefing in Jos and vowed that the party will resist such attempt.
He noted that the Caretaker Committee was drafted to the state following a court judgment that ordered fresh State Congress to elect officers of the party and on resumption, the committee invited PLASIEC to participate in their up coming local government party primaries but didn’t show up.
“Based on the election guidelines and timetable released by PLASIEC, our great party in line with extent laws wrote to notify PLASIEC of our activities towards the conduct of ward and local government congresses/ primaries to elect candidates.
“PLASIEC responded to that letter and informed us that they will not supervise our party primaries, citing a court Judgment against an already dissolved State Party Exco and a judgement which was already complied with by the National Working Committee of our party.”
He noted that after the National Working Committee of the party wrote to introduce the Caretaker Committee to PLASIEC, the Committee requested for the 2021 election guidelines, release of nomination forms for candidates and request for audience with PLASIEC Chairman, all the request were turned down by PLASIEC.
“We wish to put on record straight that as a party, we will resist any attempt to subvert the wheel of Justic band deny out people the opportunity to participate in electing their leaders at the local government level through legitimate and legal means.
“From the exchange of correspondence between the party and PLASIEC, it has emerged clearly that the Electoral empire has devised an agenda to unlawfully exclude PDP fro. The forthcoming elections.
“Our primaries were peacefully and promptly organized within the timetable and guidelines released by PLASIEC. Curiously, PLASIEC refused to issue nomination forms to our legitimate and duly elected candidates.”
Hon. Ogbu said PLASIEC wasn’t a party to the case that gave rise to the said Court order, adding that there is no order or injunction from court restraining PLASIEC from releasing nomination forms for candidates.
In a swift reaction, the Commissioner Electoral Operation, PLASIEC, Hon. Patrick Mamgin said that they are constraints to deal with PDP following the Court Judgement that set aside the party’s state Exco.
He said, “Election is a process and there are laws and guidelines that go along with election. With this, we are constraints by this court Judgement to deal with the PDP or the Caretaker Committee.
“There were series of letters from the PDP informing us that there was a caretaker Committee set up by the National Working Committee and a copy was send to us and we discovered that the letter was not send to us, specifically INEC was mention, PLASIEC was not mention.”
He noted that the PDP judgement has not been vacated from the Court and that the faction of the party wrote a petition which was submitted to them with the judgement, warning PLASIEC not to deal with the PDP in the state.
The Secretary of PLASIEC, Barr. Ishaku Bachiri said the Commission will carry out its function within the ambits of the law and that no individual or group of persons will compel them to do otherwise.
“The PDP has failed to ratify or put their house in order, then who are we going to obey, the court or the faction that said with should not deal with anybody. They wrote a letter to tell us that they have set up a Caretaker Committee, is that what the Court order said or is that what the Judgement said.
“Will you encourage us to disorder the lawful order of the Court that is still valid, that is the predicament that we have found ourselves, it is not that we are taking side with any political party, we are not.” He stated.