In the light of the two major governorship elections – Edo and Ondo – coming up in 2016, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned that if the leadership crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not resolved soon, the party stands the risk of not participating in the Edo state gubernatorial election.
This message was disclosed on Thursday by the Deputy Director for Public affairs of INEC, Nick Dazang, during a programme on Ray Power FM Radio Station titled “Political Platform.”
He said: “I expect that a very responsible party, a formidable party for that matter like the PDP will put its acts together in time for it particularly to collect the forms for those that will conduct the elections in Edo and Ondo and also to conduct the primaries that will lead up to who will now be their standard bearer for Edo governorship election to be conducted on Saturday 10 September.
“The primaries are supposed to take place between 2nd June and 4th July. So, we expect that between now and then the PDP should be able to resolve some of these issues in the interest of that election.”
Dazang also maintained that INEC is yet to take a position on the leadership crisis rocking the leading opposition party.
He said: “The PDP, as we have said is in a state of flux. In spite of what happened in Port Harcourt, the Commission was there because it was invited and by law we are supposed to be invited 21 days to a convention or congress.”
“We sent a high powered team led by a national commissioner to monitor the convention. They have submitted their report as at now but the Commission is yet to take a position in terms of who is supposed to be the chairman of the party.”
Dazang warned the disputing groups not to resort to court to resolve their differences because such would be time wasting.
He said, “In this instance when we are pressed for time if the parties in the dispute resort to court, it is going to take long it before the issues are resolved and they collect these forms.
“So we advise that they resolve some of these issues in good time to collect the forms so that they can hold the primaries and the candidates that will contest under their platform can emerge. They have between now and 4th July to do that.
“We normally encourage them. We have a department that relates particularly with the political parties to ensure the processes we laid out and articulated in the timetable and schedule of activities are strictly and religiously followed and we expect them to that.”