By Kayode Adeoti
Announcement of date for the Local Government elections by the Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWASIEC) has been greeted with mixed reactions by political parties in the state, Pilot Politics can report.
Speaking to this medium yesterday, factional Chairman of the state, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Sunday Fagbemi, said the announcement is an impetus for the party to strategise.
“Once the crisis at the state level is resolved by the national body, then we will have time to concentrate. The announcement signals time for us to start preparing,” he added.
On his part, Secretary of the state Labour Party, Comrade AbdulMumini Onagun argued that the announcement for the LG poll is belated, saying that the elections should have been conducted a year ago.
He also condemned the modus operandi of KWASIEC, saying it has failed to convey meeting with the opposition parties on the modalities for the poll.
“KWASIEC should do the needful by inviting us to a round table meeting where we will discuss the modalities for the poll. We urged them to play the game the way it should be so that there could be level playing ground for all political parties.
Onagun appealed to the electoral body to make the elections credible and fair, adding that there should not be a recurrence of what happened in 2013.
According to him,” Our party won in three local governments of the state, instead of giving us the victory our candidates were mercilessly beaten up, we want to ensure we are safe before we go into the poll.
He, however, urged the KWASIEC to put into consideration the prevailing economic recession in determining what to be paid for the nomination forms.
In the same vein, the state Secretary for Alliance for Democracy (AD), Hon. Sunday Michael Ologunde told this medium yesterday night that his party would not participate in the poll.
He premised his reason for lack of trust in the KWASIEC, saying state government is only using it to achieve its missions.
“We are not participating in the poll, we have seen that there is no iota of truth in what Kwara State government is doing concerning the election, they are the ones that appointed the KWASIEC officials and he who pays the piper, dictates the tune,” he submitted.
Also, Chairman of Kowa party, Abdulramoh Omotosho said plans are in top gear to field credible candidates for the polls.
He added that the party will be holding meeting on Thursday in order to map out strategies for the conduct of the poll.
In his reaction, the Chairman of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Engr. Sule Ajayi, said he was not aware the date for the poll has been announced by the state electoral body.
Meanwhile, KWASIEC Chairman, Dr Uthman Ajidagba has announced Saturday, November 4 for the conduct of elections into 16 Local Government Areas of the state.
He disclosed this during the press briefing at the commission head office in Ilorin on Monday.
According to him, arrangements had been concluded to hold credible elections, assuring that the exercise would be hitch-free.
He further disclosed that the commission has procured boats that will be used during the poll in the riverside areas, adding that no one would be disenfranchised.
“By the power conferred on the Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission in the 3rd scheduled part II of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended in 2011 of the particular paragraph 4 of the schedule and section 20(1) of the Kwara State LG electoral law cap 32 laws of Kwara State 2006 as amended by section 20(1) of the Kwara State electoral (amended) law, 2013 all political parties, relevant stakeholders and general public are hereby notified of the commencement of 2017 LG activities,” he stated.