INEC has declared that it will not move the date for the governorship election in Ondo State. This is coming amidst rumours to postpone the November 26 date because of the intra-party crisis rocking the PDP.
Presently, the PDP is factionalised between Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Senator Ahmed Makarfi as leaders.
INEC had picked Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim from the Sheriff faction as the PDP candidate, the Makarfi faction had gone to court to contest this.
Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, disclosed that the commission would go ahead with plans.
He said INEC took the decision based on court order and judgement. The Makarfi camp has challenged at the Court of Appeal.
Whether the two factions are able to resolve their differences before the date picked for the election or not. He insisted that it would not because of that shift the election.
Crisis Not Enough To Postpone Elections
However, Oyekanmi stated that the crisis within the two factions did not fall among the reasons given by the Electoral Act to shift or postpone the election.
“The process for postponing or shifting of elections are spelt out in the Electoral Act as amended. One of the reasons is natural disaster. No aspect of the reasons stated for this include intra-party crisis as we are witnessing in the party you have mentioned.”
“Under the Electoral Act, intra-party conflict is not recognised as one of the reasons why INEC must shift an election. We have given the notice since March.”
“As I speak today, there is no plan to postpone it. We are going ahead with the election as slated for November 26.”
Ondo Election: Other Parties Wont Support Shift -INEC
Apart from this, Oyekanmi said other political parties could take the commission to court if it acceded to the request to shift the date.
“There are 40 political parties in Nigeria and if there is crisis in at least half of them, you can imagine what we would be going through and how many times we would be postponing the election.”
One of the factions in the party has reportedly been mounting pressure on the electoral body to shift the election. This is to allow the ongoing judicial interventions concluded before the election could be conducted.