The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has denied allegations going round in some quarter that IPAC draws its sponsorship from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) thereby lacking the capacity to be neutral on electoral matters.
Denying the allegations while answering questions from newsmen at a press briefing on Friday in Abuja, the Chairman of IPAC, Dr Leonard Nzenwa said the body of political parties had to work closely with INEC in order to understand issues and challenges of the Electoral empire.
“At one point, INEC had voting power at IPAC”.
While expressing dissatisfaction over the vacuum of leadership at INEC, Nzenwa stated that “events in the last few days in our polity demands the intervention of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC to support in steering things aright, and also to alert Nigerians of the insidious plot to unsettle the polity through destabilizing the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and scuttle the reform instituted by the former National Chairman, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu who has stepped down from the commission but who President Mohammadu Buhari re-appointed and transmitted confirmation to the Senate.
“What we can’t take away is that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under Professor Mahmood Yakubu achieved respectable results during his first tenure. The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) was happy with Mahmood’s reappointment and made this clear in its congratulatory message on October 30, 2020.
We noted unambiguously that the positive technology and digitization trajectory he set for the commission remains impressive with reformation agenda he plans for the political process and system before the expiration of his first tenure. However, these laudable achievement is being disparaged by forces who will stop at nothing to ensure that the country does not move forward.
He noted “we have reached the point where we must jettison political differences and stand for Nigeria. The dishonourable tendency to pull everything down if it does not favour one’s predilection or suits ones’ whims and caprices is leading many to indulge in acts that mock the senses and drains the soul. Some Nigerians are it again to unsettle the polity and halt the screening of the INEC Chairman nominee, Professor Mahmood Yakubu.
“Efforts have been made in the past to reach out the Council in this bid to disavow Prof. Mahmood Yakubu nomination but we declined because we are convinced the stability of the electoral process and ongoing reforms by Prof. Yakubu are very promising and when fully implemented as it holds the key to unlocking our nation’s electoral challenges.
“Whilst IPAC will not stand in the way of any politician or stakeholder that desire to pursue his or her electoral ambition in 2023, the brutish manner many of them including very senior and close ministers and top aid(s) of President Mohammadu Buhari has become worrisome; everything is being thrown now to derail the polity even if it is to destroy the respectable achievements made by the electoral umpire and the scuttling of the screening of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu by the Senate.
“We as the body of all registered political parties have unanimously accepted Prof. Mahmood’s nomination and agreed to a speedy screening and nothing can change that.
“We also use this opportunity to call on the Senate to save the country and all its institutions these present plots of desecration by speedily reconvening to consider, screen and confirm the nominee, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu. This is needless tension that the non-confirmation has caused,” Nzenwa stated.