Kano LG Polls: Ganduje Asks Electoral Commission To Be Neutral

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje speaks during the State Executive Council meeting at the Government House on October 6, 2020.

 

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje has asked the State Independent Electoral Commission (KANSIEC) to be neutral in the forthcoming local government elections slated for early 2021.

This call was disclosed in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Abba Anwar.

According to the statement, the governor made the demand during the swearing-in of the newly screened and appointed Commissioners of the electoral umpire, during the State Executive Council meeting.

He gave the assurance that nobody would interfere in the operations of the Commission before, during or after the election coming up soon.

“As our Electoral Commission is bracing up for the local government election coming up early next year, we resolved to make the Commission complete for immediate operation,” he said.

“We have the remaining of only one Commissioner now, who will also be screened by the State House of Assembly. We all believe that KANSIEC must be complete for good and smooth operation.

“Even though you are appointed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) government, but when it comes to work, don’t be partisan. You have to, in fact, you must maintain neutrality in whatever you are doing.”

The newly appointed and sworn-in Commissioners are Ahmad Rufa’i Yalwa, Idris Haruna Geza and A’isha Abubakar Bichi.

He also charged them to be diligent and transparent in their official engagements, stressing “You should do everything possible to make sure that you remain as independent as your name suggests.”

Kano ‘Underage Voters’ Not On Our Register, Says INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the commission had no connection with the voters register used in the Kano local government elections in which underage voters allegedly participated.

The chairman of the Commission, Mahmood Yakubu on Friday told journalists in Abuja that the register produced by INEC was not used by Kano State Independent Electoral Commission (KANSIEC) in the election.

“Kano State Independent Electoral Commission requested for and received from INEC the Kano State Register of Voters for the election. The Register was produced for use for the elections.

“However, the Register was only sighted in a few polling units. In other words, the Register was not used in most of the polling units. In fact, accreditation using the Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) largely did not take place,” he said.

He added this was discovered after the investigation committee had National Commissioner Abubakar Nahuche as Chairman, another National Commissioner, May Agbamuche-Mbu, two Resident Electoral Commissioners (Mike Igini and Kassim Geidam) as well as some Directors and staff of the Commission, who are experts in ICT, as members.

The INEC Boss added that if underaged voting occurred in Kano as claimed by some reports INEC Register was not used.

“Given that the Register was substantially not used to accredit voters before voting, it is logical to conclude that if underaged voting occurred in the election, it was NOT due to any presence of underaged registrants on the Register of Voters.

“However, after examining some of the images in circulation, the Committee found that they have been available long before the Kano Local Government Elections. The few images and video clips from Kano show no accreditation of voters or any relationship with the Register of Voters,” he said.

He emphasised further that INEC was not in any way involved in organising the Kano State Local Government election beyond the legal requirement that the register of voters compiled by INEC should be used in all Local Government elections nationwide.

“The conduct of that election was entirely the responsibility of KANSIEC,” Yakubu said.

The investigation committee according to the INEC Chairman has since submitted its Report.

Kano State Council Election To Hold In January

The Kano State Independent Electoral Commission (KANSIEC) has set January 22, 2014 for the conduct of local government elections in all the 44 local government areas of the state.

The chairman of the electoral commission, Dr. Sani Malumfashi told reporters that 1.5 billion Naira had already been budgeted for the conduct of the election.

For over two years now, grass root politicians in Kano State have been expecting the KANSIEC to announce the time table for local government elections. The delay has been attributed to insecurity across the state.

“Political parties’ campaign is scheduled to hold between February 16 and May 16 2014. Parties’ primaries and submission of candidate’s names to the commission will hold between March 3 and 13, 2014. Sales of forms will begin from March 14 and end on 28. The entire process will hold between January 22 and May 27 2014,” Dr. Malumfashi said, reading from a computed schedule.

‘Timing Not Calculated’

While the commission says the choice of date is considerably rational and calculative, critics say it is unfortunate that KANSIEC is just issuing the time table after over two years of waiting.

Critics believe timing has not been calculated as claimed by the commission’s chairman.

Meanwhile, the proposed date, according KANSIEC, will enable the commission procure both sensitive and non-sensitive election materials, meet with major stakeholders and embark on holistic and extensive voter education campaign across the state.