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Jega comes under attack over role in deregistering PRP

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Prof. Atahiru Jega


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Former Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, came under severe criticism in Abuja yesterday over his recent declaration to join Peoples Redemptions party (PRP). His action was likened to a dog returning to his vomit having deregistered the party under his leadership of the electoral umpire.

While speaking to reporters after the election of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Abuja on Tuesday, the national youth leader of PRP, Mr. Lawan Musa, said Jega would not be allowed to hold or contest election on the platform of the party even though he is registered member of PRP. He said posterity would never forgive the former INEC chairman for the terrible thing he did to the party which he has joined today.

“He singlehandedly deregistered PRP,” Musa said. “The law he applied in deregistering PRP was strange. When we took him to court, I was the one that filed the case and I was attending the proceedings until the judge gave the judgment in favour of PRP. The judge, in his ruling, said a party can survive without having an intention to field candidates to contest election. Therefore the law Jega applied to deregister PRP was not true because a party can exist without contesting for election.”

Musa said Jega was free to join the party, saying, however, that they would never allow him to hold any position in the party.Also, the newly elected President of IPAC, Mr. Peter Ameh, said it was the problem with the Nigerian leadership, saying, “It is just like when a person wants to cut his nose in order to spite his face. I heard him in the interview; he said that he is a follower of Aminu Kano politics. If he were he would not have deregistered PRP. The fact is that I was there as IPAC secretary when PRP was deregistered. One important fact is, if Jega had known the importance of multiparty democracy he would have not deregistered it.

“If the members of PRP had not gone to court to defend their right, and also return to court that he must recognize them after court judement had been given, would there have been PRP before he would talk of Aminu Kano’s legacy to hang onto today?”

On the Electoral Act that was yet to be signed into law, the national chairman of Labour Party, Mr. Dan Nwanyanwu, said it was unfortunate that the Electoral Act was not signed before the last election. He said a lot would be done to bring about changes in the Electoral Act.

“We want to change the system whereby if a governor conducts local government election, he takes all. So, we must do something to stop it. That is why in the last meeting with INEC, my party posit that that responsibility should be taken over by INEC. People are saying it is a state matter. But I say, ‘no’; the governors are not mature, that they should let go.”

On IPAC’s election, he said a new leadership had been elected to run IPAC, having returned the former president of the council unopposed, Ameh. According to him, “We looked at their performances in the last one year and, as the saying goes, when not broken why mend it? So they have done creditably well and so we returned them and gave them new officers that will pilot the affairs of the IPAC. Although there were about three or four positions that were actually contested for.

“Things are easily done with political parties because they know those who are performing and that is why majority were returned unopposed, apart from three positions that they thought they should make changes and those changes were made.”Nwanyanwu said it goes to show that if this was taken to the larger scale of politicking, Nigeria would have politics without rancour.


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