.Mama Taraba APC in the day, PDP at night
Says, Shittu’s case a serious moral burden
.Osun elections ‘substantially’ free and fair
By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – The All Progressives Congress APC has declared Thursday’s Osun governorship election rerun as “substantially” free, fair and credible, accusing the Peoples Democratic Party PDP of crying foul because they were unable to rig the polls.
This was as the party accused the Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Jumai Alhassan of engaging in anti-party activities, describing her as an APC member in the day and a PDP member at night.
National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole stated these at a news conference Friday in Abuja.
Oshiomhole also gave reasons why the Communications minister, Adebayo Shittu was disqualified saying his illegal exemption from the mandatory national youth service raises both moral and legal questions.
“He (Shittu) admitted that he did not do the mandatory NYSC as provided for under the law and in his own judgment, his being a member of the House of Assembly in the state and now as a Minister of the Federal Republic, that these were enough sacrifices. But for us as a party we know that NYSC is a mandatory scheme. It is not something you may elect to do or abstain from doing and my understanding of the NYSC Act is that no employer of labour is permitted to employ anyone who graduated under 30 years and who did not obtain an exemption for reasons as provided for in the NYSC Act. So, for us, not participating in the NYSC raises very serious moral issue as well as legal issue. After interviewing him, we were convinced that….for our party, there are clear lessons we need to learn from our recent past when people…anyway, we were convinced that if he did not do NYSC, that for us, was enough to disqualify him and we had to find the courage to do so.
“As for the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, she has issues that have to do with party loyalty. Our constitution is clear and it dictates that to contest elections or even hold office in the APC, you must be loyal to the party in every material concern. From all she had said in the past and even her comments and general attitude during the screening, the NWC reviewed everything taken together and we arrived at the conclusion that she does not possess the level of loyalty that the APC requires for her to contest elections on our platform. We made it clear when the defections happened that APC may well benefit from these defections if it helps us to be more critical in terms of who we give platform to contest elections and that there are core values that binds the APC together and they are non-negotiable.
“The Electoral Act and the APC Constitution forbids anyone from being a member of more than one political party at a time. You cannot be a member of APC and be a card-carrying member of another party but when you have a situation where it would appear, based on what you know and based on what I know that someone is probably APC in the daytime maybe for the purpose of retaining certain offices and they are PDP at heart or if they are not PDP at heart, they are actually and simply a follower of a one-man permanent presidential candidate…then we have the right to ask ourselves if these attitudes and qualities are characteristics of an ideal member of an APC. So, those are the reasons. We did not want to have a lengthy explanation to do but she knows why she was disqualified and we know why we denied her the use of our platform”, he said.
Hajia Alhassan had last year raises dusts when she declared her support for a PDP presidential aspirant and former vice president, Atiku Abubakar.
On the just concluded governorship elections in Osun state, Oshiomhole declared it “substantially” free and fair. He said he used the word ‘substantial” due to the incidences that forced the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to cancel the first round of elections in seven polling units.
He said INEC declared the APC candidate winner based on their independent assessment of facts of the election, dismissing concerns that the electoral umpire might have come under undue influence from the APC led federal government.
Oshiomhole also added that the candidate of the Social Democratic Party SDP in the election, Sen. Iyiola Omisore was never bribed to get his support for the rerun.
According to him, Omisore only extracted a firm commitment from the ruling party that it would implement some policy issues in the SDP manifesto.