PDP to Take Part in Niger LG Polls

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By Laleye Dipo in Minna

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has resolved to take part in the Niger State local government elections slated for November this year even as the state police command has warned against the perpetration of violence in the run up to the election.

The party resolved at its working committee meeting that participating in the election will be the best thing to do in order to show the world that it won the last general election in the state.

The Zonal Vice-Chairman of the party in Niger North senatorial zone, Alhaji Yahaya Ability, told THISDAY that every arrangement has been concluded for the candidates of the party to take part in the election.

Ability said after a series of meetings with aspirants, the PDP would be fielding consensus candidates for the chairmanship positions in 23 out of the 25 local governments in the state.

According to him, “It is only in Chanchaga and Agwara Local Governments that primary elections will be conducted.”

The zonal vice-chairman was optimistic that the party would emerge victorious in the election but asked the State Independent Electoral Commission to be fair to all and transparent in the conduct of the polls.

Meanwhile, the police have warned political parties, contestants and their supporters against perpetrating violence in the forthcoming local government elections in Niger State.

The warning had become necessary following the death of two supporters after some aspirants collected their nomination forms from the ruling party’s state secretariat in Minna.

The police gave the warning in Minna at an interactive session with leaders of registered political parties, contestants and their supporters during which the command said it would not “allow political gladiators to instigate or promote violence under any guise”.

Addressing the forum, the state Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Adamu Usman, warned: “Those planning to foment trouble during the elections will be held liable directly or indirectly for any violence committed by their supporters and they will be decisively dealt with.

“This is because violence can only be averted if every politician preach against violence or stay clear from violence.”
He said the command would continue to engage stakeholders in dialogue in order to ensure that “the election is credible, free and fair”, adding that similar meeting has been held with the leadership of all the political parties in the state.

“The state Police Command will organise a meeting with youth leadership in this regards and there will be follow up meeting frequently to review the security situation for the conduct of the election,” he said.

The Chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission(SIEC), Alhaji Aminu Baba Alhaji, said that SIEC would comply with the rules of the game during and after the election.

Alhaji, who was represented by the commissioner in charge of security in the commission, Alhaji Kawu Yakubu, said that they would engage the police and stakeholders in electoral training, adding that the commission “will embark on massive sensitisation of the electorate in the 25 local governments of the state against election violence.