As the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) begins preparation for governorship bye-election in Adamawa State, supporters of some aspirants have started canvassing for adjustment of the election timetable, Naija247news understands.
The election is scheduled to hold on 11 October 2014 and the two leading parties, PDP and APC, have scheduled their primaries for September 6 and 7 respectively.
The PDP had already conducted ward congresses on Monday where it picked delegates who will participate in its primaries next Saturday.
But supporters of some aspirants who are said to have lost out at the Monday congresses are now mounting pressure on the electoral commission to allow for adjustment of the timetable for a repeat of the congresses.
According to information Naija247news obtained the aspirants who have the backing of some party executives at the PDP headquarters in Abuja and some officials in the presidency want INEC to adjust the timetable.
But INEC Chairman Professor Attahiru Jega has reportedly told them that the commission can neither alter nor adjust the timetable, as it is strictly a matter of Nigeria’s constitution and electoral act.
“Some of the aspirants didn’t do well in the Monday congresses. And those of them with supporters at PDP headquarters and presidency are making move to counter that.
“There is a move to see whether the election timetable can be adjusted to enable a repeat of congresses, but so far the INEC chairman has resisted attempts to adjust the timetable,” a source told Daily Trust.
The PDP leadership in the state yesterday said that it had conducted a successful delegates’ election on Monday.
The state secretary Barrister Tahir Shehu told Daily Trust that the team from the national headquarters of the party and eleven of the aspirants and representatives of others had met and accepted the conduct of the election.
He denied claims that the election had been cancelled or rescheduled.
“We had a successful election and it is accepted by the stakeholders,” he said.
The PDP conducted its congresses on Monday as scheduled and reports indicated that the old timers in the party appeared to do well because many old delegates who were close to those aspirants retained their posts.
A group of aspirants who claimed to be the loyal members of the PDP had earlier announced that they would block the new comers from picking the party’s ticket.
The group, made up of Ahmed Ali Gulak (who spoke on their behalf), Alhaji Auwal Tukur, Ag governor Ahmadu Fintiri, Dr Aliyu Idi Hong, Dr Umar Ardo, Senator Halilu Girei, Prof Andrawus Sawa, General Aliyu Kama, Ambassador James Barka and Jerry Kumdisi, had reportedly reached agreement to support anyone of them who wins the ticket.
Some of them had earlier opposed waivers for Malam Nuhu Ribadu, General Buba Marwa and Engineer Markus Gundiri. And challenged the membership of Dr Tukur Modibbo in the party. But they have all been cleared by the party to contest the September 6 primaries.
INEC chairman’s spokesman Kayode Idowu, when contacted, said he did not have information on whether INEC was approached, saying the only information he has was that INEC has not shifted the Adamawa election.
“But whether we have been approached or not, the election will still take place on October 11. You know this is not just an INEC’s thing. It is the provision of the law that says INEC must conduct by-election within specific period.
“I don’t know if we are approached or not. I don’t have that information. All I know is INEC will conduct election in Adamawa on October 11,” he said.