Nasarawa LG Poll:Maku Accuses SIEC of Connivance With APC



Minister-of-Information-Labaran-Maku-418x215Information Minister Mr. Labaran Maku has accused the Nasarawa State Independent Electoral Commission of colluding with the ruling APC government in the state to subvert the will of the people in the just concluded local government elections. He made the remarks at his country home in Akwanga while reacting to the conduct of the election.Mr. Maku said it was unfortunate that Presiding and Returning Officers‎ chose to disappear from the polling centres that PDP clearly won without announcing the results which was contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Law. ” the rest of the story is that where the electoral materials went and the election was conducted, clearly where they see that the PDP is winning, they will just instruct the presiding officers and returning officers to run away from the collation centres. If you go to Lafia Local Government, people are still sitting with materials in the various wards, the people to come and collect the results are not there, the presiding officers are not there.
” The same thing has happened in virtually many of the local governments, the returning officers will run away because the result is not favourable to the ruling APC in the state,” he stated. Mr. Maku said despite the enthusiasm shown by the people of the state in the election because of the large turn out, the electoral commission failed to provide electoral materials on time and in some cases no materials were sent. “‎ The problem we are having is with the electoral officers, the Nasarawa State Independent Electoral Commission, I don’t know whether independent is still worthy to be mentioned here, the Nasarawa State Independent Electoral Commission has been playing pranks across the state. We are having major problem in the conduct of the election from the commission. In some places electoral materials went late, for example in Toto, in some places in Karu up to this moment I am talking to you some electoral wards have no materials at all,” Mr. Maku stated.
The Minister particularly mentioned that just before the conduct of the election in Toto Local Government, the ad hoc staff trained for the exercise were changed with unknown persons suspected to be supporters of the ruling APC.
Mr. Maku decried how dangerous weapons were freely used in some polling centres to snatch ballot papers or chase away voters. “There was violence in Toto where people brought out knives and cutlasses and chased away party agents and officials. In one of these instances, the PDP state chairman was manhandled.
” In Masaka and Mararaba, people brought knives, cutlasses and guns and chased away voters in two electoral wards. In Awe Local Government the ballot papers from the report I got were snatched on arrival so that there was no even question of them being distributed to the various places. So we understand that there have been thumbprinting in some places to proclaim results in elections that didn’t take place in Awe Local Government,” he said.
The Minister was confident that from available reports, the PDP is leading in 10 local governments out of the 13 local government areas in the state where election took place and demanded the release of the results.
Mr. Maku said it was evident that APC could not have won the local government election in Nasarawa State because all politicians of note in the state had returned to the PDP, saying virtually the APC had collapsed into the PDP with the return of key officials including the Deputy Governor, Damishe Luka, Senator Solomon Ewuga, two members of the House Representatives ‎among other notable personalities to the PDP. He added that the PDP controls the State Assembly with 19 out of the 24 members.
He reminded the electoral officials that for democracy to take root in the country, the process of free and fair election must be grounded at the grass roots and called on electoral observers and the media to pick keen interest in the events unfolding in Nasarawa State in the wake of the local government election.

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