BusinessDay

APC: Former AGF warns against signing withdrawal forms

...says insecurity started under PDP

Mike Aondoakaa, former Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister Justice has cautioned that signing the withdrawal form as part of documents for nomination as All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate can make one’s election to be invalidated.

Aondoakaa who said this in an interview with journaistsl after he submitted his APC governorship nomination forms at the Abuja International Conference Centre disclosed that he has not signed the form.

Form 18 in the nomination form of APC is a withdrawal letter addressed to the National Chairman of the party which must also be signed before a Commissioner of Oath/Public Notary before submission.

It states that: “I hereby voluntarily withdraw my candidacy from the contest. My withdrawal is in the best interest of our great party, the All Progressives Congress.”

But the nation’s former chief law officer said: “if you sign an agreement that you have withdrawn from the race, assuming you win the general election, the opposition party will file an action that you did not partake in the election and when that form is subpoenaed you have withdrawn from the election so you cannot be part of it.”

He said: “Unfortunately, I did not sign and I sought clearance. The implication is a two way traffic. If you sign that agreement now and you win the election and the opponent comes to know that you signed the agreement, I can bet you your election will be invalidated.”

Aondoakaa said the leadership of the party intended to have the withdrawal during primaries in compliance with the Electoral Act and not that an aspirant withdraws before primaries.

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“It can not be intended that you withdraw before you participate, it looks absurd because if you win the election, the election will be invalid,” he stated.

Aondoakaa also said insecurity started during the Peoples Democratic Party-led administration of when he was the AGF because of the collapse of the government in Libya which made people move with small weapons through South-Sahara to the West African region.

He said: “The insecurity is an external aggression that is spreading within the country but it is something that after some years it will go. We will overcome it and that is why I will not expect insecurity to be something a politician will use. There are many valid things to use. You don’t talk about security on the pages of newspapers and you also don’t shout about security.

“It is something that governors should join hands with the federal government to find a solution. It is a delicate issue. It is something that started during our time and we were not loud about it. We had cooperation from the governors that time. I was the Attorney General, we had issues and we were resolving them.

“The next set of governors, which I hope to be in the north, should come together and form a strong security buffer to protect our northern part of the country because the influx of these criminals is coming more to us. It is not something you will say I am APC, I am PDP then you start looking for a tribe to blame.”

On his mission for Benue, Aondoakaa said: “My dream is to make sure that all citizens living in Benue have equal rights, opportunities to do their activities. Those who are doing business, farming, and farming are not restricted to only crops farming, all forms of farming, they should do their business harmoniously.”