Thursday, January 31, 2008

Prepare for new elections

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Prepare for new elections

Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ahmadu Ali, has notified members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of his party to start sensitizing and mobilizing its members for fresh elections. According to sources at the NEC’s meeting of yesterday, Ahmadu Ali told the NEC members to be ready for elections in the event that the election of Pres. Umaru Musa Yar’Adua is annulled.

Ali did not stop at urging members to mobilize for election, he also impressed on them the need to begin to “systematically intimidate Supreme Court Justices.” He accused the Supreme Court Justices of “trying to do what their colleagues in Kenyan did not have the courage to do.”

The National Secretariat of the PDP has ordered that campaign materials left over from the April election, including Yar’Adua/Goodluck vests be distributed to the various states immediately. At the Court of Appeal, venue of the Presidential Election Tribunal, PDP supporters were seen wearing campaign clothes. was informed by very top sources at the presidency that the fear that the presidential election may be annulled at the Tribunal is very real. We had reported exclusively that Pres. Umar Musa Yar’Adua had said he would not appeal the verdict of the Tribunal if it goes against him. Soon after our report was published, a close friend of the president told this reporter: “We know that Umar would not want to appeal or re-contest the election but we will not let him go. As of today we know he can comfortably win in a free and fair election therefore he must run again.”

Another factor that may influence the way PDP prepares for an eventual annulment of the presidential election is Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President and Yar’Adua’s rival during the last presidential election. According to some presidency sources, former Vice President Atiku in one of his meetings with the president told Pres. Yar’Adua that he may not run in a new election if the Tribunal orders a fresh election but said he would pursue his case at the Tribunal to a logical conclusion. He opined to the president that it would be better if he were to win in a fresh election as that would address the problem of illegitimacy.

Mothers against fraudulent elections

Garba Shehu, media consultant to the Vice President told in a phone chat: “That is absolute rubbish. The position of the Action Congress (AC) is that there was no election in 2007. The Party’s presidential candidate is there and ready to contest elections. Why are we in court? Are we fighting to win and then abandon it to Umar Yar’Adua? We may as well accept ministerial positions and leave everything to Yar’Adua now.” Reacting to Ahmadu Ali’s statement that Supreme Court Justices should be intimidated, Shehu said: “They have already started doing that. The Tribunal venue was flooded by security operatives yesterday. The whole idea is to intimidate the Judiciary. The only institution that Obasanjo could not destroy in his eight years is the Judiciary. This place is not Pakistan. The people will rise up if you try to do what Musharef did there.

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