The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will field chairmanship candidates in only six of the 27 locals councils of Jigawa in Saturday’s local government elections in the state.
The chairman of the party in the state, Ibrahim Babandi, said its candidates in the other councils could not afford the “exorbitant” fees for the nomination forms set by the state’s electoral commission.
The commission fixed N500,000 for the nomination form for the chairmanship election and N200,000 for the councillorship elections.
Mr Babandi said “the exorbitant amount was meant to deny members of the opposition their constitutional rights to participate in the electoral process.
“We have severally engaged the state’s electoral commission to reduce the amount to enable our candidates to participate in the election but we learnt that the action was deliberate because the ruling APC is afraid of losing to the PDP in the state.
“They fixed N500,000 for chairmanship candidates in 27 council areas and N200,000 for councilors in 287 political wards of the state. How can we afford that? This is undemocratic and abuse of political rights,” Mr Babandi said.
He said the sale of nomination forms by the state electoral commission is against democratic principles, noting that INEC did not sell nomination form for the just concluded bye-election in the Gwaram Federal Constituency.
Premium Times tried to speak with the head of the state electoral commission, Adamu Ibrahim, but he could not be reached on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for his comment.
But the state’s deputy governor, Usman Namadi, told reporters on Thursday that opposition parties are participating in the election and assured that the process will be credible and fair.
Mr Namadi said the APC has not failed in the state because it has delivered the dividends of democracy for the residents.
“The loss by APC in Zaria in Kaduna State portrays the beauty of democracy and is a credit for the ruling APC because it allowed the will of the people to prevail.
“Jigawa is an APC state and the governor, Muhammad Badaru, has given an order that the election must be credible and fair for all the parties,” the deputy governor said.
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