From Umar Dankano, Yola
All the 21 Local government chairmanship and 209 Councillorship candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa state have urged the Federal government not to disburse any allocation to the newly elected officials at the councils.
The aggrieved candidates disclosed their position at a press conference in Yola Tuesday, accusing the Adamawa state Independent Electoral Commission (ADSIEC) and the People Democratic Party (PDP) in the state of connivance to rig the purported last Saturday’s councils poll.
Spokesman of the group, Honourable Umar Hammanjoda demanded total cancellation of the acclaimed election, alleging that neither men nor materials were sent to the 2,609 polling units in the state last Saturday.
“We call for an outright cancellation of the council elections conducted on December 7, 2019.
“Should this demand be disregarded, we call on the government of the federation not to disburse funds to these non-elective and therefore non-democratic councils having due regards to section 7(I) of the 1999 constitution as amended which clearly states that “system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this constitution guaranteed.
“In view of the foregoing, the purported declaration by Adamawa State Independent Electoral Commission and issuance of certificates of return to 21 chairmanship candidates of the People’s Democratic Party and councillors as having won council election is gross injustice, violation of electoral law and illegality and therefore unacceptable to us, our party and its teeming supporters in all the 21 local government areas of the state”, they lamented.
Hammanjoda who was the Jada local government chairmanship candidate added that the party has invested seriously in the election only for the electoral umpire to sabotage the process criminally in favour of the ruling party(PDP) in the state.
“The Adamawa State Independent Electoral Commission (ADSIEC), released a time table for the conduct of councils election on December 7, 2019 in Adamawa State.
“We complied by expressing interest to contest for chairmanship and councillorship seats on the platform of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). All of us went through the process of our party’s nomination by purchasing express of interest and nomination forms. We were screened and cleared, participated in party primaries and emerged as our party’s candidates for the council elections.
“Thereafter we fulfilled all the requirements of ADSIEC notably; 1. Purchase of nomination forms at the rate of N250,000 for the chairmanship and N50,000 for the councillorship candidate.
“Paid the mandatory exorbitant fees for tax clearance certificate, N250,000 for the chairmanship and N50,000 for the councillorship candidate irrespective of whether you had earlier obtained such a tax clearance certificate under normal circumstances.
“We were all screened and cleared for the council elections by ADSIEC. Surprisingly, when electoral materials were released on December 6, 2019 to the 21 local governments area, only 60 percent of the requirement of ballot papers were given and not a single result sheet was issued,” he said.
The chairmanship candidate added that the returning officers of the party waited in all the 21 ADSIEC local government offices from 6:00am to 6:00pm on December 7, 2019 the scheduled election date adding that no results sheets were supplied.
“ADSIEC presiding officers and returning officers failed to turn-up for the elections at the 2,609 polling units of the state.
“The ADSIEC, by its acts of commission deliberately scuffled the councils election it set out to conduct thereby mismanaging huge tax payers money entrusted to it to conduct the elections.
“The ADSIEC charges unprecedented high fees for its nomination forms, imposed illegal charges for tax clearance certificates with the tacit support of the state “Board of Internal Revenue just to defraud all candidates that indicated their intention to contest council elections.
“Let it be known that no council elections took place in all the 2,609 polling units of Adamawa State. The Adamawa State Independent Electoral Commission denied the good people of this state the right to exercise their civic responsibility to vote for the candidates of their choice to democratically manage the affairs of their local government councils”, he reiterated.
However, the Chairman of the ADSIEC, Alhaji Isah Shettima has earlier denied any rigging insisting that his commission has conducted a free,fair and credible elections.
Also, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, as well as his party (PDP) have vehemently denied rigging the local government polls saying that it was the best in the history of the state.
The governor during the swearing in of the local government chairmen on Monday said despite the little hitches in the conduct of the election, it was the best election so far conducted by the state electoral umpire.