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Published On: Tue, Dec 2nd, 2014

PDP Adamawa Assembly primaries illegal, says Ardo

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Dr-Umar-ArdoBy Patrick Andrew

A major Adamawa PDP stakeholder, Dr Umar Ardo, has called for the cancellation of the Adamawa primaries for the nomination of members of the Adamawa State House of Assembly.

The three-time gubernatorial aspirant, who described the alleged elections as “illegal”, said elections could not have been conducted because both the chairman and secretary and other members of the exco that purportedly conducted the elections were suspended indefinitely by the national leadership of the party.

In a release issued yesterday, he said the “Suspension of Adamawa State Chairman and Secretary”, Chief Joel Madaki, and Barr AT Shehu, respectively was signed by the National Secretary of the party, Prof. Wole Oladipo, adding that any action said to have been taken by the suspended officials in null and void.

He said the letter that suspending them indefinitely was dated Wednesday, November 26 and addressed to the Assistant National Vice Chairman Northeast Zone and copied to the State Governor, Barr BJ Ngilari, had appointed the Deputy Chairman of the party in the state, Hon. Jingi Rufa’i and the Assistant Secretary South, Hajia Fatima Omang, acting chairman and secretary respectively.

However, he said a meeting of PDP Stakeholders two days later held at the Government House, a ‘court order was surreptitiously produced and served on the appointed acting chairman and secretary, both of whom were not party to the suit.”

Curiously, he said, the National Secretariat in Abuja was not served with the Court Order, even as elections were purportedly conducted on Sunday in some constituencies by a Chief Madaki-led EXCO.

Accordingly, Dr Ardo wondered how elections allegedly conducted officials suspended by the NEC of the party could be valid and therefore called on the National Working Committee of the party to clarify issues on the status of the state EXCO especially the positions of the suspended chairman and secretary, respectively.

Dr. Ardo, who is currently in the Supreme Court challenging the eligibility of President Goodluck Jonathan to contest the 2015 Presidential Elections, called for a new date for re-election of candidates for the House of Assembly as well as outlines the process for subsequent nominations.

He advanced further reasons why the alleged elections could not be valid. “Firstly, the exercise was not conducted by the panel constitutionality empowered to do so as the members were held hostages. Secondly, by virtue of Chapter 5 of the PDP constitution, only the National Secretariat has powers to fix election date and conduct elections for the party. The date fixed by the NWC for the House of Assembly primaries was Saturday 29th November.

“By virtue of Section 50 (1) 7 of the constitution, the primaries for the election of House of Assembly Candidates ‘shall be held at the Local Government constituency headquarters’, however, he regretted that since the entire Local Government constituency headquarters in the Northern Senatorial District and two Local Government Areas in the Central Senatorial District are under occupation either by Boko Haram or the military, elections allegedly held for these areas at venues outside the constituency headquarters, is therefore is illegal.

“Elections can only hold in this way if the NEC of the party sat and waved this constitutional provision subject to the approval of the National Convention,” adding that since this was not done it was a gross violation of stipulated procedures.

Dr. Ardo also advanced that argument that the purported election was a breach of Part 11 B (vi) of the party’s Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections, that says that Delegates to State Assembly primaries, comprise all members of the Ward Executive Committee, and noted that since the elections allegedly held on the 30th November, Ward Executive Committee members other than Chairmen were disqualified, the exercise has been rendered null and void ab initio.

He said this is so because the suspended officials “are the majority of the Electoral College for the nomination of House of Assembly primaries.”

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