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PDP, APGA, IPAC threaten to boycott Nasarawa council poll

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Inter-Party Advisory Council have threatened to boycott the upcoming council poll in Nasarawa State.

They urged the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration to follow the statutory steps to a credible election.

The parties also urged the state government to correct the confusion that has characterised the process to avoid a futile poll.

At a stakeholders meeting on Monday, the PDP stated that it would not participate in the scheduled election, if the APC proceeds with the existing process that is marred and suspicious.

The state chairman, Francis Orogu, said preparations for the election has already shown signs of fraud.

He alleged that the newly appointed chairman and members of the Nasarawa State Independent Electoral Commission (NASIEC) are card- carrying members of the APC.

The party also kicked against the proposed fee to be paid by candidates of the various political parties aspiring for chairmanship and councillorship positions.

NASIEC had fived the fees at N500, 000 for chairmanship candidates and N200, 000 for aspiring councilors.

Also, the APGA faulted the APC’s decision to commence the election, while the state assembly is still in the process of amending the tenure of chairmen and councilors and other provision of the local government electoral act.

The party’s chieftain, M. Saidu said the state assembly was yet to invite people for the public hearing of the amendment, given its sensitive nature.

He argued that election couldn’t hold while the electoral law is still undergoing amendment.

Saidu expressed concern about the secrecy surrounding the amendment, which might put the entire process in jeopardy.

“It is widely feared that the secret amendment was designed to upturn the provisions for free and fair election in the state.

“Worst of all, while we are struggling with the illegalities and the uncertainties surrounding the entire process, the state government announced the appointment of an APC chieftain, Henry Omaku, who is presently the commissioner in the local government service commission, as chairman of the electoral commission,” he said.

The Chairman of the IPAC Advisory Committee, Haruna Iliyasu, urged the commission to restart the process if it is serious about conducting free and fair poll.

The group maintained that its members would only keep faith with the election, if the state assembly comes out with comprehensive guidelines on the tenure of council chairmen and councilors.

Iliyasu also condemned the high fees charged by the commission.


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