•As KADSIECOM Flags off Sensitization on using Electronic Voting Machine
From Femi Oyelola , Kaduna
The opposition parties in Kaduna State has accused Governor Nasiru El-Rufai of undermining democracy in the state by deliberating refusing to conduct Local Government Elections within ninety days as directed by a High Court in November 2016.
Opposition parties in Kaduna stated this during a press conference held in the state yesterday.
Coming under the umbrella of Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC) Kaduna State Coalition of Political Parties (KCPP) and Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), the parties said the action of Kaduna State Government of not obeying the Court order is total disrespect and disregard to the court of law.
The statement jointly signed by Hon. Umar Farouk Ibrahim, Moh;d Sani Ahmed, and Comrade Ahmed A. Abdulmalik, stated that rather than conducting the local government election, the APC led government went ahead and procured Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) even before the law backing the process by the State House of Assembly is debated and passed.
“More so, no opposition political party or stakeholders were involved in the process. It is obviously crystal clear that the Kaduna State Government has usurped the functions of the so called Kaduna State Independence Electoral Commission and rendered its independence doubtful.
“After a very critical study of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai’s activities and programmes as regard the Local Government Elections as well as SIECOM’s activities that are directed by him, it is very clear that he is never interested and willing to conduct local government polls within the period of his administration. The so called process is a charade aimed at short-changing the electorates.”
“Furtherance to the efforts of the National Assembly to scrap States Independent Electoral Commissions, we urge the National Assembly in strong terms to hasten the process.”
“We therefore boycotted the SIECOM’s stakeholders’ sensitization of voter Education of Thursday 14thSeptember, 2017 by 10.00 at Hotel 17, Kaduna as well as never to participate in any programme organized by them until a realistic time table and programs for the Local Government Elections are released” he said.
Meanwhile, Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECOMS) has flagged off the Electronic Voting Machine which is expected to be used in the fort coming local government elections.
Speaking during the flag off, the Commissioner for Public Affairs and Information of KADSIECOM, Prof. Andrew Nkom, said the purpose of the sensitization was to properly educate all citizens of Kaduna State as stakeholders in a democracy, to be able to participate in all the activities of the electoral process including actual elections.
According to him, the public education drive carried out in all Local Government Areas of Kaduna State, was successful given the interest it generated as shown by informed comments and even questions that were asked.
“This has shown the potential in State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECOMS) as those working at the grassroots level, to raise the quality of elected persons as representatives, in all elections and as the means for deepening democracy in Nigeria”, he said.