The All Progressives Congress (APC) has declared that it would stage a peaceful procession to the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) headquarters in Abuja on Thursday to register its disapproval of the Commission’s lists of errors in conducting recent elections, including the Delta Central Senatorial District bye-election and the ‘inconclusive’ Anambra Governorship poll.
In a press statement issued by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the APC promised to go on with the proposed march, despite the police warning that it should not hold.
”We are doing this as a patriotic service to the nation because INEC as presently constituted is not capable of organising a free and fair election again in Nigeria. If the Commission is not checked, its gross incompetence and conniving acts
could plunge the country into chaos of
unimaginable proportions,” it said.
APC revealed that ahead of the proposed march, the party wrote a letter to the FCT police command to inform it of the planned procession and to request for police escort to prevent a possible hijacking of the march by sponsored hoodlums.
”To our dismay, however, the FCT Police
Commissioner did not only turn down our
request for police escort but also cheekily
advised us to restrict our activity to holding a press conference within our party headquarters to convey our grievances to INEC .
”We reject this very patronising directive from the partisan FCT police command and hereby state that in exercise of our constitutional rights, the leadership of the APC will go ahead with its planned peaceful procession on Thursday, the 28th of November, to express our total dissatisfaction with the corruption-ridden INEC and to pass a vote of no confidence on the Commission,” the party said.
The party said the police should not confuse its letter to the security agency as a request for permission to go ahead and stage the procession, since the law has said that no such permission is required.
”Being mindful of the position of the law on this issue but as a law abiding and a patriotic political party, we nonetheless in our said letter asked the police to provide us with escort during the procession, in line with international best practices. That simple request the police turned down and this speaks volumes about its disdain for the rule of law.
”We will not be deterred by the blatantly-
partisan police, who have missed another great opportunity to affirm their neutrality and respect for the rule of law. We will use this march to prove the point that we shall not condone a Police Command, however partisan or corrupt, that prides itself in abridging our constitutional rights.
”While we shall do all in our powers to make Thursday’s procession to INEC as peaceful as possible, Nigerians and the entire world should hold the FCT police command responsible for any breakdown of law and order that may be occasioned by their unprofessional, partisan and
illegal action,” the APC said.