Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari
Masari, El-Rufai meet Resident Commissioner
Ahead of the local council election in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) scheduled for March, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), has cautioned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against any irregularities in the conduct of the polls.
A high-level delegation of the party, led by the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, and former FCT Minister, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, urged the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for FCT, Dr. Godwin Kwanga, during a meeting to set up deterrent measures against rigging.
CPC team said the council election could serve as a pointer to the 2015 election, adding that the commission should not to compromise in the election.
Speaking on behalf of the party, Masari said the reason for the visit was to draw attention to the need to ensure credible conduct at the polls.
"We realised that if leaders of political parties like us are showing interest in the conduct of local elections it will help in realising credible election. Because local elections are foundations of democracy, this is where the people are dear to the rural areas, local governments and in the case of Abuja area council elections," he said.
Masari said the council elections is very critical to the lives of party supporters who are mostly the masses, adding that that the party leaders' interest is to make sure that the electoral act is complied with to ensure a credible election.
On the possibility of the ruling party, the PDP to use its position to interfere in the election, Masari said, the fear is real considering the influence the FCT Minister wields.
"Of cause the minister was all over the place. And we don't take these things lightly. When they say they must, they have control of the resources, they have control of the security, so when they say they must we don't take it lightly, we take it seriously," he said.
On his part, el-Rufai said "what matters at the end of the day is the conduct of officials at the end of the election day. It is a few bad eggs that usual mess up the reputation of those on top. Sometimes people on top want to do the right thing but those charged with the responsibility of carrying out the duty gets compromised. And we have charged the Resident Electoral Commissioner to check the few bad eggs in their commission.
"We are here to offer our corporation to ensure that we have hitch elections. To ensure that our elections are hitch we will set up deterrent structures against any one who think he will write election results for the FCT elections.
But having said that we will also be available to support INEC so that the FCT election will be the new gold standard of electoral integrity in the country.
El- Rufai refuted claims of crack within the APC due to the controversy over APGA's inclusion in the merger.
"There are no cracks in the APC merger. I know that many people are hoping there are cracks. The cracks are else where in Wadata House. Go and ask the PDP how many cracks they have. We are working at making the APC happen.
"We are working round the clock, the ground swell of support across the country is massive and I think where you have cracks in the PDP where you have hundred year old people, where people are given positions they are too old to discharge, not the APC. APC is the party of the future and of the young.”