Electoral Commission reschedules LG elections in Niger State

Abdul Mohammed Isa, Niger State

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The Niger State Independent Electoral Commission (NSIEC) in North Central Nigeria has rescheduled local government election in the state.

According to the new timetable agreed upon by the representatives of various political parties under the aegis of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the election will hold from November 23 to 30th, 2019.

The election which earlier slated for 31st July was put on hold following unresolved differences between State Independent Electoral Commission SIEC and Inter Party Advisory Council IPAC in the state.

In a statement by the IPAC secretary in the state, Mohammed Bello Mai kujeri who conveyed the outcome of the meeting to newsmen on Saturday in Minna the Niger State Capital, said based on the new schedule , stakeholders were mindful of the provision of the enabling law by giving participating political parties enough time to prepare.

He however said the Council has disagreed over the introduction of administrative fees of N100,000 for those eyeing chairmanship and 20,000 for councillorship positions by the State Electoral Commission.

The fees according to the statement would give major parties advantages over smaller parties.

“We are still exploring the way out of the logjam. It is important to provide an enabling environment and level playing field for everybody who is interested in the seats to vie. Doing so will avail small parties the leverage to effectively participate and test their popularity during the coming exercise.’

IPAC however commended the Niger State house of  Assembly and the state government for enacting and assenting to the law abolishing caretaker committee, describing it as progressive and a step in the right direction.

The Council has also commended the House for providing the enabling legislation which allowed The Niger State Independent Electoral Commission NSIEC access to monthly allocation, adding that the move would go a long way in strengthening the independent of the electoral body in the State.

 

Nnenna.O