By RITA ILIYA
MINNA- The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Niger on Thursday boycotted the local government chairmanship elections conducted by the Niger State Independent Electoral Commission (NSIEC) to elect chairmen for the 25 local government areas of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that PDP had dragged NSIEC to Federal High Court in Minna over alleged intention to disenfranchise some of the eligible voters as their Permanent Voter Card had not been issued by the National Electoral Commission (INEC).
NAN also recalls that PDP had, in a statement signed by its Chairman, Mr Tanko Berje on Nov. 7, said the party would not participate in the local government elections due to alleged non-compliance with extant laws and regulations by NSIEC.
But Malam Aliyu Tunganwawa, Commissioner, Operations in NSIEC, said that the commission got approval from national INEC to conduct the elections.
he said that eligible voters who had yet to be issued voter cards would only be able to participate in 2023 general elections.
He explained that the commission did not exclude any political party as all political parties, including PDP, were invited during the stakeholders meeting and they gave their consent to the commission the go-ahead with the election.
Tunganwawa said that the commission was conducting elections in 3,185 polling units, adding that adequate arrangement had been made for areas with security challenges.
He explained that 13 political parties out of 18 were participating in the election.
NAN recalls that the Niger State House of Assembly had also on August passed resolutions directing NSIEC to suspend its intention to conduct due to non-compliance with the extent of laws.
The assembly in the resolutions urged the state government to direct NSIEC to suspend the scheduled timetable for the conduct of the election and comply with Section 20 of the Local Government Election Law, 2002 and Section 29 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
When contacted by NAN for comment on the ongoing local government in the state, Mr Tanko Berje, Chairman of PDP in Niger, declined comment, saying that he can not comment on an election that his party is not participating.(NAN)