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IPAC vows to boycott Plateau re-run polls over exclusion of PDP

By admin Feb 1, 2024
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The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Plateau State has vowed to boycott Saturday’s rerun polls in Plateau State over the exclusion of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the polls.

IPAC said unless all parties are represented on the ballot papers, no political party would participate in the election.

There was uneasiness among supporters of the PDP on Thursday during the distribution of election materials for the elections.

The elections are being held to fill the seats for Plateau North Senatorial District and Bassa/Jos North Federal Constituency declared vacant by the courts.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) commenced the distribution of sensitive electoral materials in the six Local Government Areas of the state ahead of the elections.

The distribution was done on the premises of the Central Bank of Nigeria in Jos, the state capital.

The development caused tension in the area as supporters of the PDP who witnessed the distribution protested the exclusion of their party arguing that INEC was acting against the Court of Appeal judgement which said that all parties shall contest in the re-run.

The logo of the PDP is missing on the ballot papers while those of the All Progressives Congress, Peoples Redemption Party and Labour Party are on it.

Others who were present at the distribution exercise were representatives of the other political parties, observers, journalists and security officers.

IPAC vows to boycott polls

After reviewing confidential election materials, IPAC chairman Abubakar Dogara informed media that they met with INEC on 9 January and it promised to provide a list of participating parties but had failed to do so.

Mr Dogara noted: “The position of the IPAC is that it is either PDP participated in the election or all parties will not take part because the Appeal Court said all political parties should participate in the election.

“We noticed that one of us is not on the ballot papers and therefore we sat down and agreed that an injury to one is an injury to all. Therefore, if PDP is not participating no political party will participate.

“We were not informed that one of us would not be part of the election, we were told that the list of parties that will take part in the election would be forwarded to us within a week from the day we met with INEC on 9th January 2024.

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“We prefer peace on the Plateau than election or anything, we know how fragile the issue of peace is on the Plateau, we are trying to avert anything that will take us to the doom days,” he said.

PDP protested on Wednesday

Members of the PDP and their supporters had on Wednesday staged a protest at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Jos over the exclusion of the party in the re-run election.

However, officials of the electoral umpire had assured them that the issue would be addressed.

The protesters demanded evidence of the inclusion of the PDP on the ballot for the polls.

Why PDP is excluded from the polls

On 22 October 2023, the Appeal Court in Abuja, through a panel presided over by Justice Williams-Dawodu, declared the elections of former Senate minority leader, Simon Mwadkwon, and member representing Jos North-Bassa Federal Constituency, Musa Agah, invalid due to PDP’s lack of a legitimate structure in the state.

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Additionally, the Appellate Court ordered INEC to hold new elections in less than 90 days, in which all political parties were to take part.

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