March 23, 2023

FCT Senatorial election must be cancelled, NNPP to INEC, Judiciary


…Says INEC, LP played same role to Sabotage their efforts, Logo of the party changed 

....Alleges that there was Over Voting in AMAC, Abaji, Bwali

Urges party loyalists to remain calm while the party is prosecuting the case at the Court

By Henry Umoru

THE New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP has condemned in very strong terms, the Saturday 25th February  National Assembly held in the nation’s Capital Territory, calling on the Judiciary to cancel the poll as it was inconclusive.

According to NNPP, the FCT Senatorial Election that produced the Labour Party, LP candidate, Ireti Kingibe should be jettisoned against the backdrop that democracy did not play its  role here. 

Addressing Journalists yesterday in Abuja, the  NNPP Senatorial candidate for the FCT, Mubarak Ahmad Tijjani who disclosed that his party has vehemently rejected the results, disclosed that he has approached the tribunal to seek redress, just as he assured that he would retrieve the mandate as the people of the FCT never voted for the candidate of the Labour Party.

Tijjani who lleged that the candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Ireti Kingibe, who was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission, actually emerged through electoral malpractices as there were cases of over voting in Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, Abaji and Bwari Area Councils.

He said, “The issue of over voting from over three local government. There is no way in Electoral Act that said if there are issues of over voting, cancel the entire election. FCT has six local governments. Over voting was detected in AMAC, Abaji, Bwari and some part of Gwaladada, is that not the entire FCT.

“The INEC returning officer did not want to announce the election. But he was place under duress. And you call this a free and fair election. And you expect the youths to remain calm?”

He has however called on  his party loyalists and supporters to remain calm while the party is prosecuting the case at the Court due to the fact that the just concluded general election in FCT does not showcase true democracy

He said, “Democracy that has brought together, that has been the way of getting and choosing leaders in this country over the past two decades has been something that did not happen in FCT.

“All our efforts were sabotaged and undermined. Iam  not trying to levy allegations but it is clear to everybody in FCT that Labour Party and the INEC played some role in sabotaging our efforts in NNPP.”

The NNPP Senatorial candidate who  alleged that the INEC unilaterally changed the logo of the party thereby creating serious confusion on the day of the election, said, “Our logo was changed on the ballot papers and this made NNPP to lose massive votes That is why I am  challenging the result that led to the emergence of Ireti Kingibe as the Senator-Elect. 

“The  people of FCT did not elect her. They didn’t know Ireti Kingibe, they didn’t vote for her. This is going to cause a lot of issues especially in FCT. This is where the seat of power is.

“This action is not going to drive peace, It is only going to lead to violence over the next four years which is not what we want as a nation.

Tijjani who further alleged that the logo of his party was omitted in the ballot papers sent to some areas, said  that INEC connived with LP as the electoral  umpire  allegedly failed to print enough tags for the NNPP agents which deprived the party, the opportunity to have representatives in most polling units.

He said, “A day to the election, they told us they forgot to print the entire tags for FCT. We were trying to improvise, the following morning we saw other party agents with their tags. 

“By the time our agents who had been trained to protect their votes, went to their polling units to do their assignment they were sent away bevaose they had no tags.

“About 90 per cent of our agents were not able to conduct their assignment while the Labour Party and their agents were seen moving around with a tag that had both our logo and that LP.

“We are highly disappointed in LP and we are not going to relent. We have to seek for justice not just for ourselves, for our people, for our supporters but for our democracy.

“In FCT today, we have nine indigenous groups, indigenes out of which the Gbyagis are the majority, also, FCT is a complex city, a city that has almost everybody from the 36 states.

“FCT, the indigenous people are people who are known to be united, they are nine indigenous groups in FCT who are all united. They have been living together peacefully without any issue. They have being receiving tourists, they have being receiving other guests from neighbouring states, neighbouring country.

“We have 100 per cent confidence in them and how they live their day to say life. To my greatest surprise, today, the FCT are the people that are far left behind in terms of infrastructure and development, in terms of human development.

“It is also allowed for anybody to come out and contest for the leadership of FCT as far as he is willing to lead the people, provide leadership for , trust you, also choose you to be their leader. So in that way we have several people from several ethnicity contesting to represent the good people of FCT in the red chamber which is why I came out as a young person, as a youth who has a lot of leadership skills to give out, who has a lot of ideas in terms of development.

“In terms of development I know how to develop the entire FCT into becoming a city we will all be proud of in Nigeria. When choosing a leader, you have to choose a leader who is diverse especially in FCT because FCT is a sensitive place and also a complex city. You have to carry everybody along. This is what we call the inclusiveness of government to the entire people.

“During campaigns, I went to the villages, I gave them my words. At the end of the day we were disappointed by the outcome of the election because the INEC didn’t do the right thing. This is not a true democracy. Democracy did not play doing the 2023 general election.

“They didn’t know Ireti Kingibe, they didn’t vote for her. I call her tye INEC-elect because FCT did not elect her. This is going to cause a lot of issues especially in FCT. This is where the seat of power is. This is not going to drive peace, there is only going to drive violence over the next four years which is not what we want as a nation. 

“I want to leave an enabling environment for the next generation. We want the next generation to be proud of us. This is not how you go about it.

“In the history of Nigerian election, I thought 2023 was going to be the first of its kind, was going to be the most  free, fair election in the country but unfortunately, some people still managed to prove us wrong.”

“I call on the people of FCT, our supporters in NNPP to remain calm and dedicated. Power is all the will of God. What we are talking about is to rescue the nation, FCT, from where we are today. It is  not about power, it is about a rescue mission to rescue the entire people of FCT. We are surely going to win. We are going to get this mandate because the mandate is a stolen one and we will not relent until we recover it. To get it back to the right hand, the right leader who knows his right from his left.

On his message to the President of the Court of appeal ahead of thre composition of the judges, Tijjani said, “The message is that we are doing this to rescue democracy. I’m 100 per cent sure that the President of the Court of Appeal will also want to do the same it. And if that is what he wants, they have to cancel the FCT Senatorial Election because democracy did not play its role here. Iam calling on him to remain dedicated, do the right thing so that Nigeria can live peacefully and Nigeria can grow to a greater height. We want a new Nigeria where there is no corruption, where there is justice. A new Nigeria starts now. I’m already in the Tribunal.”