Grappling With the Aftermath of Ekiti, Zamfara & Postponed Sokoto Council Polls – Ishola Monsur

Jan. 6, 2016

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The aftermath of the Ekiti State Local Government election held in 16 councils of the state, where the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was declared winner of all the seats, was quite predictable, as the All Progressives Congress (APC) had declined to participate in the election.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won all the 16 chairmanship and 177 councillorship positions contested in the local government elections held in the state on Saturday, December 19th 2015. Five political parties contested in the election as the PDP made a clean sweep at the poll.

Reacting on the conduct of the LG election, Duro Faseyi, senator representing the Ekiti North Senato¬rial District in the National Assembly, praised Governor Fayose for installing demo¬cratic structures in the 16 council areas of the state by conducting local gov¬ernment elections, say¬ing this would guarantee some level of indepen¬dence for the third tier that he described as piv¬otal to the country’s devel¬opment. He lambasted the All Progressives Congress (APC) for boycotting the council polls.

However, Taiwo Olatunbosun, the APC publicity secretary in Ekiti state, commended voters in the state for boycotting the Saturday election. Olatunbosun said that the people behaved honourably for staying away from the election boycotted by all political parties except the PDP. He described the exercise as a mockery of democratic election, saying an election with a single party participating while also raising PDP members to pose as candidates of obscure parties would never pass the test of representative poll.

The party added that across the state, Ekiti people spoke with one voice by staying in their homes and watched from distance as PDP members engaged in multiple thumb-printing to give the impression that there was massive turn-out of voters.

Consequent to the Ekiti Drama, the All Progressive Congress (APC) won all the chairmanship positions in Zamfara State local council election held on Saturday, January 2nd 2016. The Chairman of the Zamfara State Independent Electoral Commission, Garba Muhammad, noted that all the candidates of the APC in the 14 councils had met all the provisions of the electoral law and had been declared winners of the election in their respective councils. He said 14 political parties including the Peoples Democratic Party, participated in the election.

The PDP, however, in a statement signed by its State Chairman, Hassan Nasiha, on eve of the election, said it was boycotting the election. The party also said since it was still challenging the election of Governor Abdulaziz Yari at the Supreme Court, it would not participate in the election.

Mr. Muhammad, Zamfara Electoral Agency boss, commended all stakeholders, including security agencies, for ensuring the success of the election.

Further to the polls in Ekiti and Zamfara, the Sokoto State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) has announced the postponement of the local government council’s election earlier billed for this Saturday, January 9th, 2016. The Chairman of the commission, Alhaji Usman Abubakar noted that the postponement was due to the non receipt of the card readers they wanted to borrow from their sister agency, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

This was due to the bye-election which the federal commission is set to conduct in Bayelsa on the same date. According to the SIEC chairman, the commission may likely conduct the postponed polls before end of the first quarter of 2016.

”Nine political parties are participating in the elections and we intend to conduct free, credible, transparent and acceptable polls,” Abubakar, promised.