Kogi opposition to boycott today’s LG polls, PDP Accused Of Planned Rigging

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Opposition parties have declared that they would not be participating in the Kogi State local government elections which would be taking place, alleging irregularities by the Kogi State Independent Electoral Commission (KOSIEC) in collaboration with the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).

The   opposition parties which  include  the Action  Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and  Congress for Progressive Change  (CPC) who spoke through  Honourables Dino  Melaiye and Umar Buba Jubril, a CPC  member representing Koto/Lokoja Federal Constituency,  disclosed that in as much as they are not participating in the election, no result  would  be declared.

Melaiye, a former House of Representative Member said, “The members of opposition in the state have decided to boycott the local government election because the SIEC will be biased. For instance, the Chairman of the State  Independent Electoral Commission, Barrister Abraham  Ayo Olaniran  is a card carrying member of the PDP; he contested for the House of Assembly seat in 2011  there is no way he can conduct free and fair election.”

Dino also explained that despite the demands of the Electoral Act which stipulates that Voters Register must be displayed before the election, “the SIEC and PDP have refused to display it because they dine and wine in corruption”.

He added, “It was stipulated that 48 hours to the election, all the polling units must be marked and as at this moment no polling units have been marked. Despite the recommendation of the Independent National Electoral Commission that National Youth Corps (NYSC) members or teachers be used as election officer, KOSIEC has defied the law by recruiting PDP card-carrying members  to be presiding officers and polling clerk”

Melaiye warned that those who made peaceful change impossible made violent change inevitable”

Hon   Umar Buba Jibril pointed out that opposition parties have worked vigorously and campaigned for the election and sure of winning as much as possible local government chairmen and councilors, but the latest development in last 48 hours has cast doubt on the sincerity of KOSIEC.

He alleged that during the distribution of the ballot boxes, the SIEC has deliberately short changed Lokoja local government by reducing boxes to 60 instead of 105, adding that it was same  in Yagba West  and others.

Meanwhile, the Kogi State police command has disclosed that over 8,000 policemen had been deployed for  the elections even as at yesterday, KOSIEC had reached an advanced stage in distributing election materials across the 21 council areas and 239 wards across the state.

The state Police Commissioner, Hilary Opara, warned those with the intention of disrupting the election to desist  as the police are prepared to combat any display of lawlessness.
The commissioner stated that about 4,800 men were drawn from four neighbouring states to prevent breakdown of law and order and ensure a free and fair election.

He said, “The police have made all the necessary arrangements to ensure that election materials get to their respective destinations on time while we would ensure that no materials are hijacked by hoodlums or politicians”.

He added that the police have held series of meeting with both the chairmanship and councillorship candidates of various political parties as well as other stakeholders to let them know that the police did not want anything short of free and fair poll instructing them to take the message to their people.

He disclosed that the command has identified flash points across the state, informing that that special arrangement has been made for those areas but calling on the electorates across the state to feel free to go to the polling stations to cast their votes, warning that any act of violence would be matched with corresponding and lawful response.

The Commissioner of police assured that the command would protect law-abiding member of the society from molestation but advised those who would want to wait for the results of the election to give reasonable distance as allowed by law.

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