A legal practitioner, Leslie Ebhotemen Esq has maintained that it was only the validly elected candidates in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, primaries conducted in Edo State that should have their names uploaded into the INEC server, saying pretenders parading themselves are merely chasing shadows.
Ebhotemen made this clarification when he spoke with a correspondent of ITV in Abuja. He noted that it was sad that after the party’s primary was conducted, a report was submitted to the party, which it has acted on but some individuals who never participated in the processes were parading themselves as candidates.
He however called on the Commission to follow the laid down rules, as that is the only way to ensure that Nigerian democracy doesn’t suffer untold abuse and there is every need to protect it from people whose desire it is to derail the efforts of its founding fathers.
He said: “the list of candidates as I was rightly informed was uploaded yesterday. And not just candidates who claimed to be but those who participated in the primaries conducted in Edo state on the 22nd and 23rd of May by a committee sent by the NWC of our party, PDP.
” And of course, the report was submitted to INEC. And this same individuals were given forms and to the glory of God, those forms were submitted and their names were uploaded. As we move into the next phase, we expect INEC to officially publish the names of the candidates that have emerged not for those who claimed to be pretenders or those pretenders who claimed to be candidates in an election they feel.has the endorsement of an INEC paid Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, which is unknown to law. It is the duty of political parties to conduct primaries and not that of INEC.
” It is also not the duty of INEC to sponsor candidates but the duty of political parties. The names uploaded includes; Hon. Mathew Idurokenwen for Edo South Senatorial District, Hon. Clifford Odia current Senator representing Edo central Senatorial District.
” For the House of Representatives; Gabrielle Omosede Igbenidion for the Ovia Federal Constituency, Igueben Esan West/ Central, Hon. Marcus Onobun, Esan Southeast/ Northeast Constituency, Hon. Emmanuel Okoduwa, Oredo Federal Constituency, Hon. Sunny Aguebor, Akoko Edo Federal Constituency, Hon. Kabiru Adjoto, Owan Federal Constituency, Hon. Jimoh Ijegbai”, he stated.
On why he wants the INEC to respect and upload this names, the Hon Commissioner said: It is not for INEC to decide who the candidates of political parties are. It is the internal affairs of the political parties through their National Working Committee, NWC, to nominate in primaries that have been properly conducted.
” So, the PDP in Edo state brought a Committee that came from the NWC of the party from Abuja to conduct the primaries. And it is the list of this winners that have been submitted to INEC through the process stipulated by it which involves uploading of names after they have been submitted by the political parties through this electronic means they use in uploading these names..
” So, for me, i think it is victory for democracy because INEC has now left it to the hands of political parties to upload the names of their candidates unlike in the past where names will be submitted to INEC and it will be given the opportunity of picking and choosing whoever they feel.
” So, under this arrangement, it is the officials of the political parties who were trained to upload this names themselves. And at some point in the future, INEC will now release the list of persons who meet their requirements because those that may have defaults in their certificates will have to face election litigation. And there is window INEC gave on this issues to be resolved.
‘ But, I am happy that our candidates have emerged from the primaries conducted by our party as presented before were uploaded yesterday into the INEC portal. And of course, we have met that deadline”, he explained.