By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has asked the deregistered political parties to meet with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to sort out their differences, saying the sacked political parties have no such power to dissolve the interim leadership of IPAC.
In a statement issued yesterday by the National Publicity Secretary of IPAC, Agbo Major, the council said even though it is ready to readmit the sacked members when INEC finally re-registers them, it said it is only INEC that can bring them back to the fold of political parties in Nigeria.
A statement issued by the council said “The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) acknowledges the inalienable right of deregistered political parties to pursue justice through the Courts of the Land and also acknowledges that they got a Court of Appeal judgment in their favour recently.
“The Council will never support the abridgment of rights of anybody or entity to seek redress through the Courts of the Land and as a stakeholder will abide by the decision of the Supreme Court where the appeal against the Court of Appeal is pending.
“The Council is aware that the power to re-enlist deregistred political parties back as registered political parties in Nigeria rest with the lndependent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and their membership of IPAC, an umbrella of only registered political parties is determined strictly by their recognition and re-enlisting by INEC”.
It also urged the affected political parties to sort out their differences with INEC, saying it is the sole authority that has the constitutional mandate to register and deregister political parties in Nigeria instead of causing division, confusion and upheavals with the 18 political parties that make up the current IPAC led by Leonard Nzenwa.
According to the statement, “The Council reiterates that unlisted, deregistered political parties, not recognized yet by INEC cannot dissolve an umbrella body of registered political parties and its Leadership. It is thinking the unthinkable, a joke taken too far.
“The Council is aware, just as Nigerians have noted, that there are only 18 political parties in Nigeria as recognized by INEC and laws of our Land.
“The Council urges the recently constituted Interim Management Committees across the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) not to be deterred by the unfolding drama by some politicians in Abuja, and disregard any directive from them as their political parties are yet to be re-listed, recognized and restored by INEC.
“The Council remains unwavering in its resolution supporting that the Edo and Ondo Gubernatorial Polls be conducted as scheduled as a postponement will have unsavory impact on the polity.
“The Council urges INEC not to be distracted by conduct of some politicians who are beating drums of war with their statements and behaviours and go ahead to conduct the Edo and Ondo Gubernatorial Polls as scheduled.
“IPAC is ready, preparing and waiting to embrace the deregistered political parties back to its fold once it resolves its differences with INEC and re-enlisted back as political parties.
“As the umbrella body of all registered political parties, IPAC believes in the rule of law, due process and sustainable democracy in Nigeria.”