Kogi election; Nigeria on the path to one party state – Fayose
By; Oladele Adedayo, Ado-Ekiti.
Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose has raised the alarm that Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari appears drifting towards one party state “by using his personal lawyer and member of All Progressives Congress (APC) who is the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami to allegedly influenced the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) decision on the inconclusive Kogi State Governorship election.
He accused the President of allegedly using the AGF to carry out an act which amounted to amending the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria and the Electoral Act 2010 to advance his ambition and that of his party to lead Nigeria into “systematic dictatorship.”
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, the governor, who vowed to use all legal means to fight the “kangaroo” decision on the Kogi State election, noted that “only the Supreme Court can resolve issues not envisaged by the Constitution like the one that happened concerning the Kogi State governorship election.”
He added that “INEC further exposed its partisanship and undependability by relying on legal advice from the AGF, who he alleged had disobeyed the court severally and an interested party in the Kogi State election.
Fayose said President Buhari and APC took to illegal amendment of the Constitution and the Electoral Act owing to the fear of facing a fresh election as a result of the malpractices perpetrated by the APC in the inconclusive election.
He noted that it was shameful that the first election held by the new INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu ended in controversy, adding that the manipulation of the Kogi State election and INEC illegal position on the substitution of APC candidate was a vindication of his earlier position that the INEC Chairman was appointed just to do the biddings of President Buhari and his party.
Fayose who called on Nigerians to rise against the development said he was aware of the various sinister plots against him by those he said were plotting to turn Nigeria to a one party state.
He posited that only two options were available to INEC on the Kogi State election crisis, noted that; “INEC should either conclude the election with APC not having a candidate or hold a fresh election with APC nominating a new governorship candidate. Anything outside these two options will mean that the Supreme Court must intervene.”
“Section 33 of the Electoral Act only provided for substitution of a dead candidate before election, not during election. Also, the running mate would have become the governor-elect if the governorship candidate had been duly elected before he died. But in this instant case, the election was still in progress, meaning that Audu was a candidate like others when he died.
“Therefore, what INEC has done will mean that votes have now become an inheritance that the late APC governorship candidate, Abubakar Audu has willed to whoever that emerges as his substitute.
“It is like saying that Audu’s votes in the inconclusive election will now be inherited by another person. How logical is that?
“In a democracy, how can the Attorney General of the Federation and INEC turn themselves to the National Assembly that amends laws and the judiciary that interprets laws?
“The implication of all these is that it has become obvious that no one can get justice under this APC government and if this is the change they promised Nigerians, it appears that Nigeria is in serious trouble” the statement stressed.