Tinubu, Saraki draws battle line with INEC!! PDP, APC vows to disobey elections referee directives- See details

It would appear that the battle line has been drawn between the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the two major political parties in Nigerian, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) following the postponement of Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.

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Following INEC’s decision to move the polls forward by one week, the electoral umpire announced that political parties will not be allowed to continue campaigning during the waiting period, insisting that campaigns have stopped as directed by the provisions of the election time table.

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“Campaigns closed on Thursday, Feb. 14, and for the period that remains campaigns remain closed. All the other processes that remain in the main timetable remain closed, including the collection of PVCs, except the conduct of the elections.

“We have to take a decision and communicate because polls were supposed to open at 8 a.m. and we took the decision at 2 a.m.,” INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said.

However, the statement seems not to have gone down well with members of both the PDP and the APC and it is believed that both Bola Tinubu and Bukola Saraki, both of whom head the presidential campaign team of their various party are determined to continue campaigning despite INEC’s decision.

This much was made evident by former Kano State Governor and a Director in the Atiku Presidential campaign team, Rabiu Kwankwaso, who stated the PDP’s determination to continue to engage the electorate all the way to next Saturday.

“All the stakeholders including INEC and the international observers are not happy with the postponement, for whatever reason they have postponed the election, and I hope that they will not do that again.

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“From now to one week, there is no reason we will suspend the campaign because the law clearly states that campaigns should be suspended 24 hours to an election. Nobody ordered them to postpone the election. Now that they postponed the election, we will have the chance to go and campaign,” Kwankwaso said.

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This opinion was also echoed by the National Chairman of the ruling APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who stated that though the party had successfully rounded up its campaign after visiting all 36 states of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), they would still continue to engage the electorate and sell their vision well into the last 24 hours before the polls open.

“INEC cannot go contrary to what the law says. Everyone knows that campaigns can only be suspended 24 hours to an election, I will continue with campaigns on Sunday because if we don’t campaign, people will not come out and vote.

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“We will tell the people what happened has happened. Let them come out and vote for the president. For one week, if we didn’t talk people will forget, we will campaign,” Oshiomhole said.

Earlier, the APC national leader had criticised INEC for not informing Nigerians about its decision to postpone the elections earlier, Tinubu, however, called on Nigerians to support the electoral body so has to make sure that a free and fair election was conducted.

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“As the National Leader of the APC and simply as a Nigerian, I must express my profound concern and dissatisfaction with the unexpected, late hour postponement of the presidential and national assembly elections by INEC. While we appreciate the enormity of the logistical challenge that elections in a vast nation like ours pose to INEC, we are still pained that the Commission could not meet this challenge within the time allotted,” the APC national leader said.

“INEC could have and should have given the nation more ample and earlier warning. This could have perhaps lessened the pervasive disappointment that we all now feel. It also would have helped people better order their steps today

“Whatever our political affiliation, we must encourage INEC to overcome the difficulties in order to rise to this most important occasion,” Tinubu said.

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