There was a drama at the consultative meeting organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with political parties, as two persons claimed leadership of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC).
The event took place on Monday in Abuja at the Electoral Institute of the commission.
Immediately after the opening remarks and the display of the specimen of the ballot paper by Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC Chairman, the moderator of the event, Oluwole Ozaze, called on the Chairman of IPAC to speak on behalf of other chairmen.
Trouble started when the IPAC Chairman, Peter Ahmed, mounted the podium to speak and a loyalist of Chekwas Okorie stood up to prevent him from speaking. At this time, many other people joined, shouting that the IPAC election matter was still in court and nobody was qualified to speak on the council’s behalf. The group maintained that as far as it was concerned, there IPAC had no Chairman.
Video of VIDEO: Political Parties Fight Over IPAC Leadership At Meeting With INEC Chairman
While the argument ensued, the event was brought to a standstill, as the two factions took the battle to the podium. It took the intervention of the INEC Chairman to restore calm to the groups.
Meanwhile, the IPAC spokesperson, Ikenga Ugochinyere, accused the INEC Chairman of smuggling dubious items into the draft guidelines of the election without including it in the agenda of the meeting.
“The Chairman has finished work on the guidelines and smuggled it into our meeting without including it in the agenda for discussion for today. And what are the suspicious things he’s introducing into the guidelines?” Ugochinyere asked.
“That people who come to polling units whose fingerprints cannot be read, whom the card readers cannot recognise, will be allowed to vote; that people whose PVCs can be read, but their names are not in the voters’ register, can vote.”
He also accused INEC of tampered with the Section 8a of the guidelines, where the commission adopted accreditation and voting simultaneously.
“You all know that the laws we are going to use for 2019 elections are 2015 laws that was used, because Mr. President refused to sign the electoral act,” he stated.
He vowed to disrupt the meeting if the matter of Amina Zakari and other items in the guidelines are not listed for discussion in the meeting.
As of the time of filing this report, journalists had been asked to vacate the hall, with the meeting continuing behind closed doors.