From: Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
Opposition parties in Kebbi State including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) have accused the Kebbi State Independent Electoral Commission (KESIEC) of working for the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led state government ahead of July 15, 2017 local government election in the 21 councils of the state.
They alleged that the KESIEC did not recruited adhoc staff but rather using Civil servants in the state to conduct the poll. They also alleged that the Commission had prepared election results before conducted the poll added that the Commission intentionally fixed high price on nomination forms to scare away opposition parties from participation.
Daily Sun gathered that chairmanship nomination forms were sold for N500,000 while Councillorship are sold for N300,000. It was learnt that only All Progressive Congress (APC) had prepared to participate in the poll.
Public Relation Officer (PRO) of PDP in the state, Alhaji Umaru Ummai, and APGA Chairmanship aspirant’s in Zuru Local Government Area of the state, Alhaji Dauda Tanko Biba, made the allegations against the Commission in a separate interview with journalists, on
Ummai said, “They fixed high price for nomination forms to discourage aspirants of other political parties. This has not happen in the history of Kebbi state. Since KESIEC started it’s preparation for the election,its has not been fair to opposition parties because they are working for state government.”
Biba in reactions also alleged that, ” KESIEC has prepared to announce the winners of local government election even before conducting it. They fixed high price on the nomination forms to discourage other parties aspirants. For your information, the commission did not recruited adhoc staff for the election, they are using workers of state government”.
While responding, KESIEC commissioner in charge of Media and Publicity, Kabiru Muhammed Dabai, denied all the allegations leveled against the Commission.
According to him,” We did not fixed price of nomination forms beyond what they are collecting in neighbourig states. I want to challenge them to check states like Gombe, Bauchi states. The money generated were used to renovate their Secretariat and improved their activities., ”
Dabai who accused opposition parties of deliberately absconded from election campaign said only APC, the ruling party in the state embarked on campaigns ahead of the election.
He also denied allegation of using civil servants for the poll saying ” as I am speaking with you now, we are training our ad hoc staff and we are ready to conduct free and fair election.
“In fact, we have achieved over 70 percent arrangement. Election materials have been distributed across the state.”