The Unity Forum, ‘Senators-elect of like minds’ a faction of senators backing Bukola Saraki, have explained why they boycotted “the mock election” arranged by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Dino Melaye and Ahmed Rufai Sani, who spoke in a statement issued by Senators-elect, said they decided against the election because the other faction of senators, Unity Forum insisted on an open ballot when other faction had favoured a closed ballot.
The statement reads:
“We the Senators-Elect of Like Minds today 6th of June 2015, on the invitation of our party, attended an interactive meeting with selected 5 members from each group, the Unity Forum and the Like Minds Group.
“Regrettably, the Unity Forum insisted on open ballot voting which we discovered is different from the electoral process used to conduct the earlier election with the House of Representatives members elect. To us, this open ballot voting is primitive; undemocratic and against universal electoral norms and practice.
“In the light of the above, we the Senators elect of Like Minds hereby insist on our position of Open Secret voting process which we believe is in consonance with the provisions of the electoral act, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the universal electoral values.
“As responsible citizens of Federal Republic of Nigeria, and leaders in our own right, we have resolved and hereby state that we shall not be part of a process that promotes undemocratic electoral process that may resort to rancorous and uncivil situations which inhibits the rights of individuals to vote for the candidate of their choice, as this process will further divide us than unite members of our party.
“In conclusion we the Senators-Elect of Like Minds wish to state categorically that we will participate only in the constitutional election scheduled for Tuesday, the 9th of June 2015 in line with the rules of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We by this press release invite the media to a joint press conference by the 65 Senators-Elect of Like Minds drawn from across party lines on Monday morning, the 8th of June 2015.”