By Chris Ochayi &Â Dennis Agbo
ABUJAâ€”Last Friday’s deadline for the submission of names of political party flagbearers for February’s Anambra governorship election has continued to generate ripples as the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) violated the 6 p.m deadline for the exercise, vowing to fight it out in court.
CNPP issued the threat even as the Hope Democratic Party candidate for the race, Mr Mike Okoye, claimed that Governor Peter Obi is not the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate because he (Obi) was not nominated by the partyâ€™s congress.
CNPP, which issued the threat in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, said it strongly objected to the late submission made by PDP.
According to the statement, â€œpundits and lots of Nigerian democrats had predicted that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Anambra State gubernatorial primary that took off penultimate week will showcase free, fair and transparent election, hence internal democracy, that opportunity was lost; for it is trite law that you cannot give what you do not have nor build nothing out of nothing.
â€œTo us, democracy is a journey not a destination, the violation and disobedience ofÂ INEC 6p.m. deadline ofÂ Â OctoberÂ 9 and lack of internal democracy from the so- called largest political party (PDP) in Africa calls for a great concern; as robust practice of internal democracy and obedience to INEC rules are essential ingredient to electoral rule of law and procedure for free, fair and transparent elections.
â€œCNPP highly objects to the late submission made by PDP; for it is too early in the day for Professor Maurice Iwu to start bending the rules in favour of PDP as an axe-man. We will contest this to the highest court in the land,”Â Â it added.In another development,Â the Hope Democratic Party candidate, Okoye, who was until Friday, a governorship aspirant on the platform of APGA, expressed disappointment in Chief Chekwas Okorieâ€™s last minute endorsement of Mr. Peter Obi as the APGA candidate, warning, however,Â that legal impediment may exclude APGA from the February 2010 Anambra governorship election in the state.
Okoye augued thatÂ ”by law and facts, Gov. Obi is technically not a candidate yet because he is still contesting his expulsion from the party and he did not purchase a nomination or stood for primaries.
There is also the uncertainty of who is the authentic national chairman of APGA,â€ Okoye explained,Â adding that the decision to pitch camp with HDP was informed by the fact that the partyâ€™s manifesto aggress with his vision of restoring hope to Anambra people and rescuing the state from anarchism.