Ahead of the February 12 area council election in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, participating political parties have signed a peace accord.
The representatives and candidates of 14 political parties, including Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Tuesday, at the Nigerian Air Force Conference Centre, in Abuja, agreed to a violence-free election.
Saturday’s election will be held in the 68 wards spread across Bwari, Abaji, Gwagwalada, Kuje, Kwali and Abuja Municipal Council (AMAC) area councils of the Federal Capital Territory.
As published in its final list, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), noted that a total of 473 candidates sponsored by 14 political parties will participate in the poll.
Being the only part in the country where the commission is required by law to conduct Local Government elections, the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said the major activities have been completed ahead of the election.
He said all non-sensitive materials have been deployed to the area councils and promised to ensure delivery of sensitive materials on Thursday, two days to the poll.
“There are enough ad hoc staff engaged and trained for the election. Non-sensitive materials have been deployed to the various Area Councils. Non-pharmaceutical materials have been procured to protect voters and personnel from COVID-19 in line with the Commission’s policy based on the protocols prescribed by health authorities. Voter education and publicity have been carried out. Transport arrangements have been made, including motorcycles for remote locations and boats for riverine areas.
“We shall deploy assistive devices such as Braille ballot guide and magnifying glasses for the physically challenged voters. We had several meetings with the security agencies in the area councils, the FCT and the national level on how to address potential threats to the election and secure the election.
“All non-sensitive materials have already been delivered to the Area Councils. On Thursday 10th February 2022 i.e. in the next two days, sensitive materials will be delivered by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to our FCT Office in Garki.,” Mr Mahmood said.
While all seems to have been covered by Nigeria’s electoral body, the two largest political parties have also been busy making moves to attain victory.
In the build up to the council election, the PDP, having lost out in the same election in 2016, announced a 35-member campaign team for poll last Friday.
The team is chaired by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State while Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State is to serve as secretary of the high profile committee.
On its part, the APC on Monday also inaugurated 133-member national campaign council at the International Conference Center (ICC) for the forthcoming FCT election.
Both Governors David Umahi of Ebonyi State and Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State are to co-chair the council.
Meanwhile, In the 2019 poll, the APC won five of the six chairmanship seats in the FCT while Danze Adams of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) won the Gwagwalada Chairmanship election.
He narrowly polled 15,950 votes to defeat Abubakar Giri of APC who came close with 14,569 votes.
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