Amidst disqualification controversy, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) governorship candidate for November 16 election in Kogi State, Barr Natasha Akpoti has reassured her supporters that she will participate in the election.
Akpoti who made this known during “Political Circuit”, a discussion programme on TVC anchored by Esther Omopariola said, she is going to fight and resist the injustice, adding that she is already in court to seek court injunction.
According to her, the nomination of the underage running mate which was supposed to be substituted by 48year-old Engr. Khalid Adams was done by the party, lamenting that INEC which supposed to guide political parties on issues that need to be corrected allowed itself to be used.
Akpoti further disclosed that INEC denied her party the right to substitute her running mate even after acknowledging her party’s letter for the substitution, maintaining that she has approached court to right the wrong and enforce INEC to act on the substitution letter it received and and acknowledged on September 23.
When asked how confidence she is on getting court injunction with INEC’s claim that they are following the constitution, Akpoti said, “there is no part of the constitution and Electoral Act that shows expressly that INEC has the power to reject the nomination of candidate brought to it by political parties, there is nowhere it is stated that INEC has power to reject substitution by political parties with the stipulated period, no part of the constitution or electoral Act gives INEC the power to disqualify political candidates”, she said.
According to her, “section 31 subsection (1) of the Electoral Act made it clear that political parties should submit within sixty days names of candidates to INEC who will participate in the election and INEC will under no circumstances whatsoever reject or disqualify these candidates.
“Section 31 subsection (6) specified the power of the Federal High Court in disqualifying candidates found wanton. Subsection (8) of the same section 31 states further that the political parties found wanton by the court will be liable to pay a fine of five hundred thousand naira”, she explained.
She maintained that there is no part of the Electoral Act that states political parties will not participate in the election, adding that the Electoral Act gives the political party room for replacement after the erring candidate might have been disqualified.
Akpoti alleged that with the stands of the electoral act, “it is clear that INEC is playing someone’s card to disqualify me”.
Answering question on the possibility of woman taking the mantle of leadership in Kogi state, Akpoti said, it is about time for Nigeria to have a female governor who will transform their nurturing ability into societal development.
“In Nigeria, men has always been the president, vice president, governors of the 36 states have been men all these while and the economy is not going on well. That means something is wrong, one of the genders has been silent, God did not make mistake when he created both gender.
“Women have the nurturing ability, every woman should be given the opportunity to transfer her nurturing ability to societal development. Women are more patient, more tolerant and it has been proven that economy that are being led by women have less corruption, less violence, and more progress. Rwanda is a perfect example with 68 percent of her leaders as women l”, she said.
Akpoti reiterated that her candidature does not represent any ethnic group, adding that she represents a new face of hope. “That is why I was able to pull over 48 thousands votes in the last senatorial election more than the PDP candidate who was a serving senator seeking for reelection and APC had no choice than to rig me out”.
Reacting to allegations that she hates Governor Yahaya Bello, Akpoti said she only disagree with the leadership style of the governor, adding that being a young governor he has everything at his disposal to turn the fortunes of the state.
She however, emphasised that the governor still have time to correct some obvious misdeeds of his administration, adding that the coming election is a litmus test for the governor on how he will make sure that the safety of lives and properties of the opposition parties are guaranteed.