Wednesday October 20, 2021 7:46 AM

Kaduna LG Poll: PDP talks tough on rescheduled election

The major opposition, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area, of Kaduna State has said it will only accept whoever wins in a clean, free, fair and transparent vote irrespective of the party,

Recall that Zangon Kataf, alongside Kajuru, Chikun and Brinin-Gwari local government areas could not vote in the 4th September 2021 council election which the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (KADSIECOM) attributed to security challenges.

In a letter, “rescheduled local government elections in Zangon Kataf local government”, addressed to the chairman KADSIECOM and copied to Kaduna State Commissioner of Police; State Director, SSS; DPO Zangon Kataf LG; Asst Commissioner of Police Kafanchan and Coordinator, Operation Safe Haven, Southern Kaduna; and signed by Chairman, PDP stakeholders Forum and Chairman, Local Government Party, Dr. John Ayuba and Mr. Sam Bassa said the local government is home of PDP.

The letter said in as much they desire to conduct free, fair and credible elections, they noted that they have serious reservations with the top lieutenants of the commission, sections of the security agents as well as what they called “overzealous” government political appointees.

“They are the albatross of peaceful credible elections in Kaduna State. Please take note and do the needful. We however pray that God will grant you the will to prevail,” the letter explained.

According to the letter, “We plead with you to explain to the Governor that his political employees want to use the police and military to help them rig, but in Zangon Kataf what can help them is peaceful and civil conduct. His Excellency should call them to order.”

According to PDP,  it wants to be very clear that their members are used to being law-abiding during elections resulting in its peaceful conduct, observing that over-militarisation of the venues would only create or exacerbate tension.

It explained, “We, therefore, want to suggest that you step in to ensure that voters or officials are not harassed or unduly treated. All accredited officials and agents should have unfettered access to voting or collation venues. If the Sanga or Igabi episodes are to repeat themselves, then no one will leave the venue.”

The letter said that they intend to submit their observation, lapses, connivance or complicity of the security agencies to the Police High Command in the State, but observed that since SIECOM is the overall umpire, the conduct of the security should be done according to rules of engagement by the commission.

It noted that on collation centre, it observed that in the case of Sanga, security agents stopped their Ward Returning Officers from getting into the local government Collation Centre to hand over results of their wards to the local government collation officers, saying that in the case of Zangon Kataf, no one will leave the collation centre until all their ward collation officers have been allowed in.

It observed that over the years, their local government collation centre has always been the local government SIECOM office and it has served them well, stressing that any attempt to relocate the collation office to any other place will not be tolerated.

“We are aware that ad hoc staff like Presiding Officers or Polling Clerks are changed at the instance of APC Govt political appointees with the active connivance of your lieutenants. We want to say categorically that we won’t accept any polling or ad-hoc staff that was not trained and certified by you or Executive Officers, otherwise, it is an invitation to trouble,” the letter said.

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