The candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have been declared winners of all the 34 local Government Chairmanship Elections conducted on Saturday in Katsina State. However, a civil society group in Katsina has described the election as a sham.
The Chairman, State Independent Electoral Commission, KTSIEC, Abubakar Lawal, announced the PDP victory on Sunday in Katsina.
He said that the candidates had satisfied the requirement of the law and returned elected in their various local government areas.
Mr. Lawal said that elections were conducted peacefully, freely and fairly in all the local government areas. He said that six political parties – ACPN, PPA, SDP, MEGA Party, PDP and APGA – took part in the polls.
He, however, did not announce the number of votes scored by each candidate during the exercise.
He commended security agents, the media, voters and other stakeholders for their contributions toward success of the exercise.
The newly-elected chairmen are expected to be inaugurated on Monday.
In its reaction to the elections, the Community Information Project, CIP, described the elections as ‘’a waste of resources’’.
The Project Coordinator of the non-governmental organisation, Jacob Aaron, made the statement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Katsina.
He said there was no election in the state as the exercise was contested by only one party, the PDP.
‘’How can you conduct an election in which only one party is contesting; as far as we are concerned, election did not take place in Katsina State because we did not see it,’’ Mr. Aaron said.
Mr. Aaron, who is also the North-West Zonal Coordinator of the Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, said the five political parties that contested alongside the PDP did not actually show up during the poll.
He also said the election was a mere appointment, adding that there was no difference between it and local government caretaker committees.
‘’It is unfortunate that this kind of thing is happening at the grassroots where our democracy should be allowed to grow up to the national level.
‘’In as much as we do not get local government election right, we cannot get the presidential election right,’’ he said.
Reporters’ observations showed that although six parties officially conducted the polls, only the PDP deployed its agents at the polling centres.
The five other parties did not send their agents to most of the polling units visited.