Laleye Dipo In Minna
Some of the registered political parties in Niger State are now set to take part in the local government election scheduled for November 30, this year.
This is in spite of initial opposition to the poll by some of the parties as a result of the imposition of ” administrative charges” by the state Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC).
According to a document made available to THISDAY, each chairmanship and vice-chairmanship candidates are to pay N100,000, while councillorship candidates are to pay N20,000 each.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) first raised opposition to the payment of the levy, claiming it was illegal before threatening to challenge the policy in court.
However, THISDAY learnt that the leading political parties have paid the “administrative charges” on behalf of their candidates early this week.
The PDP, it was learnt, secured a court order that the amount should be collected from the party since the period for submission of nomination papers had closed.
“We have paid for all our candidates,” the Niger North Vice-Chairman of the party, Alhaji Yahaya Ability, confirmed to THISDAY.
He also confirmed that the party would go ahead with its case in the court challenging the legality or otherwise of the imposition of the administrative charge.
The Alliance for Democracy (AD) candidate for Chanchanga Local Government, Alhaji Mohammed Kabiru, said the party has not paid the levy because “we are in court”.
Kabiru however said the party would pay for all the candidates if the court rules otherwise.
The state Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Alhaji Jibrin Imam, confirmed that payment has been made on behalf of all the chairmanship and councillorship candidates by the party.
“We are a law abiding party, we have complied with all the laws for the conduct of the election,” Imam said.
The APC chieftain praised the state governor for being “a true democrat”, adding that in just five years he is conducting the second local government election in this state.
“The PDP was able to conduct only one local government election in 16 years now they are complaining,” he said.
When contacted, the Chairman of the SIEC, Alhaji Aminu Baba Alhaji, confirmed that most of the parties have complied with the law by paying the administrative charges.
“We are set for the election,” Alhaji said.