From Edwin Olofu, Kano
Former governor of Kano state, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, and other stakeholders in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state yesterday declared their determination to protest alleged inconsistencies by the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission (KANSIEC) in the release of guidelines and timetable for the forthcoming Local Government Elections in the state slated for May 17.
Shekarau, who was speaking yesterday in a Press Conference held at hisb residence, insisted that going by the prevailing situation on ground, KANSIEC may not be able to organize a free and fair elections if adequate measures were not taken.
The former governor, who spoke on behalf of leaders of PDP in Kano, said that they would not be deterred from participating in the Local Government elections following some alleged irregularities of KANSIEC in the new timetable containing guidelines and notifications for the poll which he described as unconstitutional.
According to the ANPP presidential candidate, KANSIEC has deliberately refused to give the PDP candidates clearance slip that will enable them to pay for the forms in the banks, ‘’but up till this moment, KANSIEC despite all efforts by our candidates to obtain this form, they were told that the date has elapsed.’’
Shekarau, however, disclosed that already, PDP has written a formal protest letter to KANSIEC stating all the irregularities and injustice, adding that the party will take every constitutional action to ensure that its candidates for the elections are protected and would be given equal opportunities to participate in the election.
While shedding more light on the grievances of the PDP, Vice Chairman PDP Care-taker Committee, Alhaji Yahaya Bagobiri said: “On the 5th of April 2014, the party received a communication from KANSIEC that it had extended the sales of forms from the 3rd of April to the new date of 4th of April, 2014, virtually less than 24 hours notice.
“The PDP candidates were unfairly discriminated against by KANSIEC in that they were subjected to a screening process before clearance slips were issued them to facilitate the purchase of forms while candidates of the APC were not subjected to the same process.
‘’The APC candidates were allowed to make bulk purchase of the candidates nomination forms from the banks while KANSIEC insisted that the candidates of the PDP must make individual purchase , despite the fact that it’s only the PDP that has submitted its list of candidates to KANSIEC as required by their programme.’’
PDP leaders, however, urged KANSIEC to adhere strictly to the constitutional provision and guidelines of the Local Government elections which specified 21 days for the purchase and return of completed nomination forms as stipulated in their programme of activities.