G-60 declaration: IPAC will not join issue with its members – National Chairman

The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has disassociated itself from a statement alleging that it refuted the claim that 60 political parties declared support for Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over its stance that it has no server to record election results.

IPAC stated this in a statement issued by its National Chairman, Chief Peter Ameh on Saturday in Abuja.

Ameh said that the council would not join issues with its members, who have the constitutional right to freely express themselves without any form of hindrance.

A group, under the aegis of the G-60 Forum, had endorsed the 2019 presidential poll that culminated in the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The group which comprised 60 presidential candidates and chairmen of political parties, hailed the election and passed a vote of confidence on INEC.

According to the Chairman, G-60 Forum, Muhammed Shittu, who is also the National Chairman of the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance, the controversy surrounding INEC’s server is a deliberate ploy to destroy the integrity of the country’s electoral process.

However, a report credited to a member of the council, Akinloye Oyeniyi, who spoke as IPAC spokesman, faulted the position of the G-60.

Ameh described IPAC as a political but non-partisan organisation with the responsibility of working with INEC and relevant key stakeholders.

This, according to Ameh, is to create an electoral and democratic atmosphere that is fair, free and credible in tandem with the wishes and aspirations of the Nigerian people.

“We don’t join issues as it relates with political statement from political actors.

“So, it is therefore very surprising to see a statement credited to IPAC against the conference of some of our members under the platform of G-60 political group.

“We do not take sides when political parties act within their right as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to freely express themselves without any form of hindrance.

“All the political parties represented at the news conference are bonafide members of the council and we cannot be seen to be acting against their independent activities.”

He, however, said that it is sad that a journalist would deliberately mislead members of the public because the person in question is not the IPAC National Publicity Secretary.

Ameh said that the council’s legitimately elected spokesman is Mr Ikenga Ugochinyere.

“This is to clearly state that the said statement purportedly joining issues with the G-60 did not emanate from the council under our leadership.

“We hereby disassociate our organization from the statement asked that it should be withdrawn.”

Ameh added that “apart from our back door diplomacy approach to ensure that our members act within the confines of the law, we also will not take it if and when their actions result in the heating up of the polity or result in violence of any kind.

He said that members of the council had the platform of their political parties to carry their political activities.

He said that if he, as the Chairman of the Council has anything to say about the action or inaction of the government, ” I have the platform of my party to rightly do so.

“Then, why should anyone drag IPAC into an issue that he could have treated through his own party.

“Yes we engage Government and Stakeholders but it is in the need to find solutions to our electoral and economic problems.

“Our interest is the Nigerian people,” he said.

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