Laleye Dipo in Minna
Almost three weeks after the local government election conducted by Niger State Independent Electoral Commission, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has explained why he and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) lost the councillorship seat in his Kontsgora ward to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Bello blamed the loss on impunity by some local government officials of the APC in the choice of the candidate for the election in the ward.
The governor’s explanation was contained in an address he read at the closing of a three-day retreat for local government chairmen which according to his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel Berje, was held in Kaduna.
The governor was quoted as saying that “imposition of candidates often leads a party to lose election and also forces some candidates to leave the party and run under a different political party platform.
“It was due to the wrong candidate imposed by ‘some people’ in my ward in Kontagora that the APC failed to secure the councillor’s position.”
The governor, according to the statement, also chastised some local government council chairmen who refused to inaugurate councillors that won election on the platform of other parties in their areas.
“If me as the governor let it be, why then would a chairmen not swear in the councillors from the opposition,” the governor reportedly queried, describing the action of the affected chairmen as “wrong and against the rule of law.”
“The rule of law is key. For those of you that have deliberately or mistakenly refused to swear-in councillors, because they come from opposition party, it is wrong,” he said.
Bello was reported to have also admonished the chairmen to “find a subtle way to settle their political differences,” adding that divergent political views would always arise and create challenges in the discharge of their duties with their vice chairmen and legislators.
He said APC not only represents change, but also stands for fairness, fair-play and justice, noting that this must be seen to be exercised by the members of party and its elected officials.
In the last local government election, APC unlike in previous polls lost one chairmanship seat and about 30 out of the 274 councillorship positions.