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Published On: Thu, May 22nd, 2014

The Kano council polls

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NBC-INECElection into Kano state’s 44 local government councils took place last Saturday, May 17, and the ruling All Progressives Council (APC) took all 44 chairmanships and 484 councillorships. It was a clean sweep by the new party of Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. None of the other 18 parties, including that of Kwankwaso’s immediate predecessor, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, took a single councillorship.

Chairman of the state’s independent electoral commission (KANSIEC), Sani Lawal, “thanked the state government, security agents, the 19 parties that took part in the election and the media for their support, saying the success witnessed during the exercise was a collective one”.

However, Shekarau whose party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it was thought, would give the APC a good fight in the poll, thought otherwise. He described the election as the “biggest electoral fraud” ever, and he implored the national leadership of the APC to “immediately disassociate itself from the mockery of democracy that was conducted in Kano under its name”. According to him, the poll was “a big disgrace to a party like APC which aspires to the leadership of Nigeria”.

Shekarau vowed to take the fight to the legal level and asked that the appropriate election tribunal be set up quickly. According to him, the poll was marred by several malfeasances like “absence of voting materials in most places, the non-conduct of any form of election in several quarters, non-display of the voter register and list of candidates before the election and the deployment of local government education secretaries and APC card-carrying members as electoral officials”.

Many observers have dismissed Shekarau’s complaint as that of an ungraceful loser. And they may not be far from the truth, more so that he ditched the ANPP that gave him the platform that put him in power in 2007 for the PDP that is in power in the centre. If he insists Kwankwaso rigged the council polls, he ought also to be reminded that he did a similar thing while he was governor and even refused to hold elections in councils that he knew his party would not win. As he moved in one direction, Kwankwaso did in the other, abandoning his erstwhile PDP for the APC. Besides, this second Kwankwaso government in Kano seems to have found the common touch with the Kano electorate in a way he had not been able to do in his first tenure. A victory in the council poll was expected; what was not was the size of the victory – total.

However, the reason for this total victory can be adduced to the way the present administration has completely transformed the state for the better. The infrastructural development that is evident in Kano today lends credence to the suggestion that Kwankwaso is indeed one of the few performing governors in the country.

This said, we urge Shekarau and his PDP and other aggrieved parties to challenge the outcome of the poll at the election tribunal where all their complaints shall be properly addressed.

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