Following the inauguration of a factional executives of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) led by Alhaji Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, by the acting Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Hajia Amina Zakari, political stakeholders have expressed anxiety and fear that the end is near for the body.
While the national chairman of PDM, Alhaji Bashir Yusuf, who emerged chairman in July 24 was inaugurated last week Thursday, the national chairman of PPA, Peter Ameh, was also elected by 16 political parties the sameday as chairman of the council at a bye-election which held in Abuja.
The former national chairman of IPAC, Dr. Yunusa Tanko, who swore in Ameh at the venue, explained that there were challenges with previous election, which was given to INEC for verification, hence the decision to hold a bye-election for the chairmanship position.
Yunusa, who doubles as chairman of NCP said, “two political parties, AD and APGA, were denied participation in the election, in fact after giving due certified letters from their political parties.
I had sworn to protect the interest of all political parties and at that election that was not carried out.”
On why the bye-election was held in a hotel as against INEC premises where the July 24 election held, he said “IPAC is an independent body and INEC is just an observer. So we may decide to have elections anywhere. There is no document that stipulates that election must be held at INEC office.”
On the boycott and endless litigation that may arise from this bye-election, he said, “as far as I am concerned, IPAC is a voluntary body individual parties can decide to join or not. I have done the best I could as an individual to make sure that we close ranks.
He, however, expressed regret that IPAC was disintegrating, noting that what he did was in fair play and justice.
“I can assure that I have done my best in my capacity. For me, IPAC will come out stronger after this. We are all politicians, and when issues are being raised we can war-war and later jaw-jaw. I have done the best I can in making sure that everything remains the way it is.”
On INEC’s absence at the bye-election, he said: “you can hear from the electoral committee; they invited INEC. As I told you yesterday night I was there at INEC in the process of trying to make reconciliation work but one party invited by INEC and others were not invited.”
Speaking to journalists also, Ameh vowed to unite the council, recognizing that there is crack in the council.
He said, “we are going to work together. The minority will have their say but the majority will have their way. There are issues, but as the newly elected chairman of the council – because I have been there as former national secretary – I will use my experience and relationship to resolve whatever problems have been there and make the house a united and indivisible front and use it to confront the challenges of poverty and hunger in the country as well as collaborate with every tier of government to see that justice and prosperity are brought to our people.”