By Daniels Ekugo
The National Chairman of Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) Emmanuel Dania, has reacted to the de-registration of 74 political parties including ANN by the Independent National Electroal Commission (INEC) as unconstitutional and hasty. Dania stated this in a press parley recently in Lagos.
According to the National Chairman, “The announcement of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deregistered 74 duly registered political parties and the Alliance for New Nigeria captured on same list can be best described as hasty and unconstitutional.
“Our response to the announcement of INEC is borne out of the consideration for the principles of justice, fair play and respect for the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Nigerian constitution is bigger than any organ or arm or agency of government and the provisions are to be upheld and respected by all including INEC. The constitutional position is clear on how and when political parties can be deregistered and that position is yet to be attained.
“This position in contained in the press statement of Thursday, February 6, 2020 of The Inter Party Advisory Council of Nigeria, IPAC which clearly highlighted that the constitutional provisions are clear as sated in section 229 defines a political party to include association whose activities shall include canvassing for votes in support of a candidate for election into a Local Government Council and this provision has not been fully and completed exhausted as a political party because we have candidates in Local Government Areas whose elections are coming up soon.
“We are therefore station that INEC as an institution ought to have been responsible enough to have waited until elections are held in all 774 LGAs and 8,809 Electoral Wards in Nigeria before the hasty announcement of Thursday, February 6, 2020 was made. We are therefore not deterred by this announcement and we are in alignment with the position of IPAC that a matter that is already before a competent court of law and yet to be decided cannot be subjected to the whiles and caprices of INEC. It is important to reemphasize the fact that 33 political parties, who are members of the Council, moved a motion in Court 3, at the Federal High Court in Abuja for an Order of interlocutory injunction restraining INEC from deregistering the concerned political Parties, pending the determination of the Suit. The court adjourned for Ruling on February 17th, 2020.
“We therefor say that this is an affront on the judiciary and such act must be discouraged for it is a disregard for the rule of law and a contempt of court.
However, from the perspective of Alliance for New Nigeria, we consider the Chairman of INEC Prof Mahmood Yakub a noble and respected Nigerian, and for this reasons and the fact that the office of the National Chairman or any of its secretariat has not been served by INEC of any notice of deregistration or anything of that and that the only communication we have received from INEC after the last verification exercise at the National Headquarters was that the State Chapters of the party would equally be verified. For the above reasons we consider the news making the rounds as fake news or rumour or some form of misrepresentation of INEC.
“We have taken this position because a professional institution such as INEC that has related with all political parties and ANN through formal communication would not announce that the same political party has been deregistered on the pages of some newspapers with due process of notification. And should this be, then we can see that INEC is truly hasty for something that Nigerians and every young person in this country needs to be wary of. Let’s not be quick to forget that the voice of the Nigerian youth in the political arena today is Alliance for New Nigeria and if INEC takes a position that is not constitution against such a voice then we must see this beyond the news and ask questions.
“ Why is INEC not waiting for the outcome of the court verdict? Why is INEC not allowing all the elections in the 774 LGA to happen before this position? Why deregister in 2020 when the next presidential election is in 2023? We must ask INEC questions. For all our teeming party faithful and lover and believers in the New Nigeria movement we would like to say to them it is not over, we all must stay focused and be undeterred by these distractions. We are obviously going to be riding this wave to re-bound and come through stronger as one indivisible entity and our collective voice of over 40 million Nigerian youths shall be heard from all corners of Nigeria no matter what they may do or say.” He concluded.