From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
Despite the inferno that engulfed the Secretariat of the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (KADSIECOM), the scheduled Local Government Election for May 12, 2018 will not be interrupted.
The Chairperson of the Commission, Saratu Binta Dikko-Audu, disclosed this during an emergency meeting with stakeholders held in Kaduna yesterday.
According to her, the Commission had earlier advertised the scheduled election which is supposed to be conducted with smart cards readers and Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), but doubt this because the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it cannot provide the smart card readers.
Dikko-Audu said the day is a great one for the Commission even though it lost materials on the second floor of the Secretariat in the fire outbreak, no life was lost.
“We had to take stock of what we lost in the fire; we concluded that last night and are confident we have enough machines to conduct our elections. We gathered you to know which way to go. I want to remind you that the nomination your candidates filled are intact but however we lost the affidavit but we would give new forms during the screening,” she said.
The chairman said that in view of that, the screening of candidates which was to start on Tuesday, April 24, will now commence on Wednesday, April 25, with those who were billed for the first day, rescheduled for a day after the last set.
In assuring of transparency during the polls, she said that their machines will print summary sheet of the votes cast.
“We appeal to your agents to be there till the end till its transmitted. We have situation room in our offices and we are assuring you there is no way anybody can tamper with results.
“We are going to use the voters register and PVC, once confirmed, they vote. Once they have voted, they would leave the premises. Make sure you have agents so that the votes of your party protected,” he said.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said the date for the LG election is not convenient for the party because of its national congress. The Spokesperson of the party, Usman Abdullahi, disclosed this during the meeting, and appealed to the electoral umpires to reschedule the election.
Similarly, the State Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ibrahim Wusono, said it will not accept the conduct of the election without the use of INEC card readers.
However, the KADSIECOM Chairperson said the Commission has put so much into preparing for the election and it cannot postpone it because of the excuse given by APC.
Dikko-Audu said the Commission started talking to INEC about smart card readers two years ago and were disappointed at the respond.
“We are shocked they are not giving us. They said they can’t give us 6,000 card readers because they are preparing for 2019 polls. If anyone here can convince INEC to give us smart card readers, we would be very grateful,” she added.