|Join Nairaland / Login / Trending / Recent / New|
Stats: 1061913 members, 1233384 topics. Date: Wednesday, 22 May 2013 at 05:39 AM
|Opposition Parties May Boycott Presidential Elections by rotbog(m): 4:39am On Apr 17, 2007|
Opposition parties meet today, may boycott presidential polls
By Akpo Esajere, Group Political Editor
SHOULD the coming presidential election be boycotted or not? That is the question which opposition parties are set to decide upon this morning as they meet in Abuja.
Sources said last night that the overwhelming thinking among the camps of the leading presidential contenders is that their participation in the next weekend's election could only serve to put legitimacy on a heavily flawed and fraudulent electoral process.
It is a fall-out of the governorship and State Assembly polls held last Saturday as the first leg of the two-pronged exercise.
Opposition parties have rejected the outcome of the gubernatorial contest in many states considered to have been heavily abused and manipulated.
Not only was the conduct marred by severe irregularities, the slots in a majority of the states are rated as having been unfairly awarded to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
At the meeting of opposition parties in Abuja last week, a leading presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) had canvassed consensus to enable the opposition to present a "granite coalition" against the ruling party's alleged rigging plot.
But that is likely to give way as they meet today, faced with what some sources among opposition politicians termed as "a pre-determined project of returning the PDP presidential candidate at all costs."
The Action Congress (AC), according to sources, is going to the meeting today on the position that there is no point going for the election.
This is in spite of the Supreme Court judgement yesterday, which cleared the way for its presidential flag bearer, Vice President Atiku Abubakar, to run in the election.
As at last night, the Vice President's camp, according to sources, was divided between those who think that he should run and those who see it as pointless, with the latter being a big majority.
The first group believes that if Abubakr were denied victory, he could use the recognised legal channels particularly the election tribunal, to obtain redress.
This is the more so as the courts have demonstrated through decisions in many cases involving him that they are ready to uphold justice and fair play.
The second group, which may carry the day, are however of the view that Abubakar's participation could only serve to confer legitimacy on the election, even when "obviously, the INEC under Prof. Maurice Iwu could never announce Atiku as winner of the election."
Said a source: "Running will only serve to diminish Atiku politically. They will have the opportunity to humiliate him. They will declare votes for him behind Buhari and even (Pat) Utomi and (Chris) Okotie.
"INEC under Iwu has established itself as Atiku's adversary. It could never announce Atiku."
However, it is speculated that the fact of the ANPP picking up five states in the governorship election may encourage Buhari to insist on going ahead to test his popularity at presidential election.
Sections: politics (1) business autos (1) jobs (1) career education (1) romance computers phones travel sports fashion health