From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia
The Nasarawa State Independent Electoral Commission (NASIEC) conducted the rerun election in the disputed Akwanga local governments in the state even as members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the area protested the development.
Irate supporters of the PDP, mostly youths in Akwanga early yesterday barricaded the busy Akwanga-Keffi expressway, burning tires and disrupting the free flow of traffic along the route, just by the congested Akwanga market located along Keffi road.
It took the intervention of armed security men dispatched to disperse the rampaging youths, who took to their heels after policemen fired canisters of tear gas at them.
Meanwhile, the PDP said it will boycott the scheduled re-run election which took place yesterday across 10 local government areas of the state, with the chairmanship election taking place in Akwanga, Obi and Nasarawa.
State Public Relation Officer (PRO) of the party, Mark Neto, told our reporter at the premises of the Akwanga Divisional Police office, where electoral materials are being distributed, that his party will not participate in the re-run election.
“We have asked our supporters not to participate in the re-run. As far as we are concerned, NASIEC has already issued to our candidate certificate of return, so which re-run are they talking about?” he asked.
He stated that the PDP expected that aggrieved parties should have gone to the tribunal, claiming that since the PDP chairmanship candidate in Akwanga already won the election, it was needless for the NASIEC to conduct a re-run election.
Reacting over the issue however, Arc Stanley Buba, interim state chairman of the APC, condemned the action of the opposition party, accusing the PDP in the state and the PDP dominated state Assembly of continued disregard for the rule of law as well as the doctrine of the separation of powers”.
In a statement issued to journalists yesterday, the APC described the conduct of the PDP members as an aberration, adding that the stance taken by the Assembly on its resolution seeking for the sack of the NASIEC officials, smacked of lack of understanding of the constitution, which vested such powers on the executive.
“Is it not double standards for the PDP to allow its elected chairmen to be inaugurated while refusing to swear-in APC councilors, like it happened in Kokona LGA?” Stanley queried.
As at the time of filing in this report, the re-run local government election was ongoing across those areas earlier declared inconclusive, even as security has been beefed up with stern looking soldiers patrolling the affected areas.