By Taofeek Lawal
The Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) said it is awaiting the verdict of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the suspension of Frederick Fasehun as the National Chairman of the party.
The acting National Chairman, Manzo Abubakar, while addressing journalists at the party’s 5th post-registration National Executive Committee (NEC) at Agura Hotel, Abuja, said that Fasehun was suspended at the last NEC of the party held at the same venue last month for alleged anti-party activities.
According to him, “the explanation of the Monitoring Committee of INEC are seeking from the legal department (of INEC) is whether our decision to suspend the National Chairman is in line with the spirit of our constitution.”
The acting Chairman recalled efforts by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, to mediate in the crisis of confidence between Dr Fasehun and other members of the executive.
He however said the reconciliation meeting scheduled for Saturday, 1st November in Ile-Ife could not hold as a result of the death of a younger brother of the monarch.
Abubakar said the party has notified INEC and security agencies on the situation within the party, adding that Fasehun remains suspended from UPN.
While accusing Fasehun of allegedly using thugs to threaten his opponents within the NEC, Abubakar added that “while the INEC are making efforts to come out with their decision on the position of the leadership tussle of the party, I believe police too are trying to see how they could intervene to avoid shedding of unnecessary blood.”
Also, the party at the NEC meeting unfolded the fees and guidelines for primaries for aspirants wishing to run on its platform in the 2015 general elections.
Those wishing to run for Presidency, Governorship, Senate, House of Representatives and House of Assembly are to pay five million, two and a half million, fifty thousand and twenty five thousand naira respectively, while women and the handicapped will run free.
Meanwhile, ward congresses for election of ten electors from each for all electoral colleges will take place on Saturday, November 22, 2014, Electoral College for state Houses of Assembly is fixed for Monday, 24th November 2014, while the Electoral College for Governorship is on Wednesday, 29th November, 2014.
Similarly, Electoral College for House of Representatives is on Saturday 6th December 2014, while those for the Senate and Presidency are fixed for Tuesday, 9th December and Thursday 11th December 2014 respectively.
The National Secretary of the party, Alhaji Abubakar Abdullahi Sokoto said “Alternative dates for electoral college not held in accordance with the above schedule will be communicated to INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission ) as necessary.
The acting National Chairman had earlier assured that “every aspirant shall be availed a level playing field with respect to the democratic emergence of our standard bearers.”
He disclosed that the party guidelines for primary election was held on Tuesday 11th 2014 November and has been forwarded to the chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega.