By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), which is the umbrella of all registered parties, has disclosed that it will activate internal mechanism to settle the political crisis in Edo state, even as it cautioned the Independence National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to heed or how to pressure to cancel or postpone the Edo state governorship poll already slated for September 19.
Briefing journalists in Abuja, the chairman of IPAC, Leonard Nzenwa, flanked by leaders of other registered political parties, condemned the political upheaval, calling on the parties involved in the conflict to follow the part of honour and rule of law.
While describing the crisis in Edo as a dangerous misstep that can throw the entire Country into a major crisis, IPAC urged their colleagues in the state to restrain themselves and play by the role and electoral guidelines.
“The nation cannot afford a political crisis in a state buffeted by insecurity and dire economic hardship visited on the people in an unending circle of lockdown. The council calls on all stakeholders to ensure that all hands will be on deck for the Edo and Ondo polls to hold successfully in scheduled date as this nation cannot afford postponement or suspension on account of incivility of political actors in the State.
“We are aware that there are 12 other Political Parties that have fielded candidates for the polls in the state and would not allow our colleagues in two other political parties to disrupt preparation towards these polls by actions. We advise all concerned to toe the path of honour and engage in issue-based campaign.
“IPAC is aware of several pronouncements and judgments of courts of competent jurisdiction since the Edo State House of Assembly crisis that prevented some members-elect from being sworn-in. The Council urges all the parties to abide by these Courts pronouncements and judgments instead of resulting to violence at this critical time when the good people of the Edo State are preparing to elect their governor for another four years.
“IPAC is monitoring the political situation in Edo State and is already invoking its inbuilt mechanism in resolving the intra and inter party crisis.
“We urge the Independence National Electoral Commission, INEC, to be firm, open, transparent; be on the side of the people and disregard in unnecessary distraction to suspend or propone the election. We demand that INEC should do everything within its power to hold the election in Edo State.
“We demand that all security agencies to discharge their duties professionally, neutrally and obey the rules of engagement as they work toward ensuring that vote, mandate and will of Edo people count in the election”, it said.