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Further poll shift will create constitutional crisis, says YCE

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The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) rose from its national executive meeting in Ibadan with a warning that a further shift in the polls date would lead to constitutional crisis.

The group otherwise called Igbimo Agba Yoruba observed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reached a ‘dead-end’‎ constitutionally with the dates fixed for the rescheduled 2015 general elections, stating that further postponement would lead to constitutional crisis.

The group equally insisted that it had no anointed candidate among the presidential candidates contesting the March 28 presidential election.

The Assistant National Secretary of the non-political organization, Bayo Olateju, who addressed reporters at the end of the meeting, said there was no need to be apprehensive about the conduct of the election as stipulated by the electoral agency.

He explained that with the Electoral Law prescribing conduct of election about 60 days before the expiration of any tenure, there could not be further shift of the election without causing constitutional crisis and with the assurances by President Goodluck Jonathan that the handover date of May 29 would be‎ sacrosanct, there was nothing to fear.

The YCE scribe also expressed satisfaction with the distribution of the Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) by the INEC stressing that with the percentage of voters claimed to have‎ collected their cards, the electoral agency must be commended and allowed to complete the exercise as proposed.

On the controversy surrounding the adoption of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan by the Afenifere, a Yoruba socio-cultural group, Olateju said YCE was not part of the adoption.

He reiterated the earlier pronouncement by the YCE on its non-endorsement of any candidate for the presidential election, saying, “as the fathers and mothers of all in Yorubaland, we are above partisan politics and it is our advice to our sons and daughters to vote for any candidate of their choice.

“We also frowned at the spate of violence being witnessed ahead of the elections and we are using this opportunity to appeal to our people to desist from any act capable of bringing us back to the old era. Yoruba had witnessed war before and we cannot afford‎ re-enact the old order”, the YCE maintained.



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