Kano State Government last Saturday conducted local government elections, which were won by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
But the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Senator Mas’ud Doguwa, describes the exercise as a fraud.
What is your reaction to the just concluded local government elections in the state?
Was there any local government election in Kano? Those you saw in the queues during the drama called elections were ‘area boys’ or political thugs. There was no election in Kano. You went round and you saw the kind of people in the queues.
Some said underage voters participated in the polls. Did you see them?
Many underage voters participated actively during the election and I am convinced that they got their voter card as a result of active connivance between the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Kano State Electoral Commission and the APC in the state. Somebody (voting) cannot queue up in a place without a voter card. So, we assumed there was connivance between INEC and the state electoral commission. And that is why they conducted what I described as a mere political drama and called it an election. I call it drama because the PDP, the strongest opposition party in the state, did not participate. I am afraid that a similar scenario will play out in the 2019 general elections.
Why did the PDP refuse to participate in the LG polls?
You cannot talk of an election when we are in court. We went to court which belongs to the state government. The court delivered judgment, which was against us, and we proceeded to the Court of Appeal. You cannot tell me that the PDP participated. We are contesting the judgment in the Appeal Court and I think we would continue to do that until we achieve justice. So, if by tomorrow, the Appeal Court rules in favour of the PDP in what I described as a mere drama, which they called an election, then it would be null and void.
Did you see any of our posters? Did you see any of our agents? It’s only those mushroom political parties they called parties that participated. We also realised that the KASIEC distributed free nomination forms to all those who contested the election, including candidates of the so-called other political parties but they refused to give to PDP members, thinking that they would collect huge sums from our candidates. The nomination fee for local government chairmanship positions was put at N250,000, while that of councillorship was put at about N150,000. When you put together the tax clearance money plus the nomination forms for the chairman, it would cost about N400,000, while it would cost about N200,000 for the councillorship position. How do you expect an institution that is vested with the responsibility of serving the people to start collecting money as if it is a revenue-generating agency? In my own view, this is wrong. This is part of what we are contesting in court. It is obvious that they want to kill the local government system because in future, if they are allowed to continue in this manner, they will raise the money to between N500, 000 and N1m. This is a ploy to discourage the opposition from participating in local government elections. That is what we are struggling against and we would continue to fight against it. The bottom line is that no PDP member would participate in that kind of political drama. No reasonable person came out. That is the more reason why they paraded the underage in the queue.
But we heard that some PDP members participated in the LG elections….
It is not true. No member of our own PDP participated in the political drama, as I earlier told you. All reasonable members of the PDP heeded our directive by shunning the election because we didn’t want it, since we were convinced that the exercise was nothing but an illegality. If the incumbent Kano State Government would continue to call itself the perpetrators of illegality, it is okay.
Why did some civil society coalitions endorse the outcome of the polls?
Any civil society coalition that endorses such political drama must have compromised. Those civil society groups that endorsed it are desperately in search of quick and cheap money. – Culled from Punch.