Dr. Kayode Ajulo, an Abuja based legal luminary and human rights activist, on Thursday, faulted the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) for according recognition and accepting names of all candidates presented by the All Progressives Congress (APC), ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Ajulo contended that INEC should have rejected all APC candidates to further demonstrate its commitment to the nation’s democratic settings.
The former National Secretary of the Labour Party (LP) and founder, Egalitarian Mission for Africa, made the declaration following the crisis that still trailed the APC primaries and its candidates nationwide.
In a statement on Thursday, Ajulo argued that , “when a given political association or party cannot operate a fair and just internal democracy, especially when it cannot organise acceptable party primaries within its fold, it is futile to wait on such party to tolerate any meaningful interparty electoral contest.
“What the ruling All Progressives Party (APC) called party primaries, what it gave Nigeria in the near past, failed ordinary tests of a civilised democracy.
According to him, INEC, patently compromised the very provision that birthed its existence, looking aside while the Constitution and the electoral law are being violated.
“The regulations are quite clear and handy for stakeholders to adopt or implement. Among other conditions for party primaries, the regulations say: No political party shall set criteria or conditions to pre-qualify an aspirant to contest in its primaries as candidate except such conditions are in line with the 1999 Constitution, the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), the Constitution of the party, as approved by the Commission, as well as the regulations, guidelines and directives of the Commission.
“Excepting the cases of Zamfara where INEC has discountenanced the State’s primaries and lists of candidates and Rivers states where for the involvement of our Courts, APC primaries and its candidates were rejected, a preponderance of the controversial lists of candidates submitted with INEC fell short of the minimum conditions for party primaries.
Ajulo stated that the outcome of APC primaries left much to be desired.
“To put it mildly, it ruptures the little, subsisting faith that ordinary citizens retain in a fledgling but gangling democracy.
“It is uncivil, unlawful and unacceptable, and it should so be regarded without mincing words.
“It is worrisome that a ruling party that should ordinarily set the pace for the ideals and be a model for standards chose to descend into such abysmally dirty dealings in the name of party primaries” Ajulo stated.