The Kebbi State Independent Electoral Commission (KESIEC) has scheduled the state local government councils poll for Feb. 5, 2022.
Alhaji Aliyu Mera, Chairman, KESIEC said this when he briefed newsmen shortly after a stakeholders’ meeting at the commission’s headquartres in Birnin Kebbi on Tuesday.
“After a fruitful deliberation with political parties in the state, we have resolved without resistance from any party that we are going to conduct the local government councils election on Feb. 5, 2022.
“This is a collective and unanimous decision of all stakeholders; it is not a decision of the commission alone but the political stakeholders. Going by our programme, the parties requested for an extension of time for sales of forms which was granted, apart from this, all other things were humbly accepted.
“Initially, sale of forms was supposed to commence from Dec. 24 to Jan. 5, but they pleaded that it should be extended by five days which was accepted and approved; now sales of forms will close by Jan. 10, instead of Jan. 5,” he said.
He added that nomination forms, contact and all other relevant documents with respect to the election would be made through the secretariat of the commission located at No. 4, Jalingo Crescent, G.R.A. Birnin Kebbi.
“This is to enable political parties, stakeholders and the general public to take note and commence all necessary preparation in respect of the forthcoming election,” he said.
Mera solicited for the support and cooperation of all stakeholders and general public towards conducting free, fair, and credible election in the state.
While assuring of the commission’s readiness to conduct election that would be acceptable to all, he charged political parties to play by the stipulated rules and regulations of the election.
Malam Ibrahim Muhammad, the state Chairman, Coalition of Political Parties, described the meeting as a routine exercise aimed at clarifying issues on the election.
“It is sad that it has become a tradition that in most states, the ruling political party usually sweeps all the local government elective positions in the poll.
“This is one of the issues we deliberated upon during our meeting, we enquired whether the KESIEC is truly independent and ready to give all parties a level playing ground toward ensuring a free, fair and credible election?
“Are they ready to allow people to elect credible candidates of their choice?. If people elect what they want, are they ready to give them what they elected?, Is the commission really ready to be just to all so that the election will be acceptable by all concern?
“To achieve these, the commission must be truly independent, it must work with the fear of God, it must not receive directives from above to change election results. However, the commission assured us that they will stand firm to ensure that all parties are given equal opportunity,” he said.
He said that for the opposition parties to make impact in the election, the state electoral commission must answer its name as a truly independent commission and not just by name.
Alhaji Suleiman Argungu, the state chairman of the Peoples Redemption Party (PDP) identified lack of transparency as one of the hinderance towards credible conduct of local councils poll in Nigeria. (NAN)