269 candidates scramble for 62 seats in Abuja council elections

INEC staff on duty
INEC staff on duty

19 observer groups have been accredited to observe the elections on Saturday.

A total of 269 candidates are vying for the 62 chairmanship, vice chairmanship, and councillorship seats in the six Area Councils of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, in this Saturday’s election.

The candidates are drawn from 13 political parties including the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; Congress for Progressive Change, CPC; All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA; All Nigeria peoples Party, ANPP; Labour Party, LP; and the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN.

The PDP, ANPP, and ACN are producing the highest number of candidates with 74, 82 and 62 respectively while the National Conscience Party, NCP, is presenting the lowest with two candidates.

Kehinde Jubril, the Public Affairs Officer of the Abuja Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, told PREMIUM TIMES in Abuja on Tuesday that 914,357 candidates registered to vote at the 3052 voting points. He added that there are 639 polling units in 62 wards in the Nigerian capital.

Mr. Jubril said the commission would ensure smooth conduct of the election, adding that parties had always been carried along in the preparation process. He, however, said a meeting between the commission and all the stakeholders in the electoral process has been fixed for Thursday.

According to him, 19 observer groups have been accredited to observe the election which begins at 8 a.m.

APGA Deputy Chairman in Abuja, Anyaegbulem Okoye, told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview that his party is prepared for the Saturday election but added that INEC should update them with information on the election.

Meanwhile, the leadership of ACN said on Tuesday that it would not field any candidate in the Bwari Area Council chairmanship election of the territory but would support the candidate of CPC, Musa Dikko.

A leader of ACN, Shola Folorunsho, said at a news conference in Abuja that the decision was taken in the spirit of the proposed merger of four parties into All Progressives Congress, APC.

“My party, the ACN has resolved to unanimously support the CPC candidate, Honourable Musa Dikko to contest and vote for in the forthcoming election of the 18 March, 2013,” Mr. Folorunsho said.

“As a follow up we have made arrangements with party members in all our wards. We have also been able to bring together our councilors in each of the wards to make front to vote CPC so that by the grace of God on Saturday we will be successful to have a change in the Bwari Area Council.”

A similar alliance exists in Abaji Area Council where the ANPP and the CPC are all working for the candidate of the ACN.

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