Contrary to publication by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in Kwara state has said that Senator Rafiu Ibrahim remains its candidate for the Kwara South senatorial election.
The party made this clarification in a statement by its state publicity secretary, Mr Tunde Ashaolu stating that INEC erroneously published the name of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed as the party’s Kwara South senatorial candidate in the national assembly candidates list it released on Thursday.
The party said when Governor Ahmed voluntarily withdrew from the senatorial race, the party subsequently nominated Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, and the electoral body was properly notified through the national leadership of the PDP.
The statement added: “Though INEC set November 17, 2018 as the deadline for candidates for the presidency or National Assembly to withdraw themselves, Section 35 of the Electoral Act however, stipulates that “a candidate who wishes to withdraw his candidature can do so by notice in writing to his political party who in turn notifies the Commission of such withdrawal not later than 45 days to the election. The party shall then be allowed to nominate another candidate.
“Consequently, when Governor Ahmed voluntarily withdraws from the race, the State Chapter of the PDP immediately nominated Senator Rafiu Ibrahim and informed the national leadership of the party about the development.
“In compliance with the provision of the electoral act, the national headquarters of the PDP duly notified INEC of Governor Ahmed’s withdrawal and his subsequent replacement with Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, which was within the stipulated time frame.
“We are, therefore, suprised by INEC’s erroneous publication of Governor Ahmed’s name as our party’s Kwara South senatorial candidate as against Senator Rafiu Ibrahim.
“However, we believe that INEC as a responsible and responsive agency will quickly effect the needed correction to avoid contradictions that can create unnecessary tension within the polity.
“All our party members, supporters and the general public should, by this clarification, know that Senator Rafiu Ibrahim remains PDP flagbearer for the Kwara South senatorial election. There is absolutely no cause for alarm.”
However, the resident electoral commissioner in kara State, Alhaji Madami had persistently insisted that the appearance of Gov Abdulfatah Ahmed’s name on the list of candidate is not a mistake but a deliberate act.
He said that Gov Ahmed sent in his letter of withdrawal late and therefore since it was not within deadline, it can not be changed on account of being an error from INEC.