APC and PDP Confident Ahead of Kwara Local Government Elections

Date: 2024-06-23

According to a news report from Nigeria Tribune, both the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have expressed confidence in their prospects for the upcoming September local government elections in Kwara State.

The APC aims for a sweeping victory across all 16 local government areas, while the PDP asserts its readiness to contest and win significant local government areas in the state.

It is recalled the Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWASIEC) had fixed the election for the chairman and councillors in the 16 local government councils of the state for September 21, 2024, while it had also released the timetable for the elections.

Speaking at the inauguration of a 42-member committee for the forthcoming local government elections in the state, held at the APC party secretariat, Ilorin, the chairman of the party, Prince Sunday Fagbemi, said that the constitution of a committee for the election indicated that the APC was ready not only to win elections but to strengthen democratic values within the party.

“This exercise shows clearly that this is a party with clear plans and strategies to not just win elections but to strengthen democratic values and dividends at all levels in the state and beyond. The APC is a party with an extensive network and admirers across every part of our state — thanks to the performances of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, who is the leader of the party in Kwara State.

“Our gathering here is a follow-up to what we have been doing over the last few days on how to achieve 100% victory for our party in the upcoming local government elections which is slated for September 21, 2024.

“The path to victory begins from this phase of picking our candidates and building a winning team. We have chosen the path of democratic consensus to maximize the timeframe we have to submit the names of our candidates as well as reduce bureaucracy and bottlenecks that often arise from outright field primaries.

“But our consensus method will not be autocratic or without respect for history, local zoning arrangements, and peculiar situations in different parts of our states”, Fagbemi said.

He also called on all aspirants for both the councillorship and chairmanship positions not to see the election as a do-or-die affair, adding that, “all of us are good enough to be the next chairman, councillors. But we cannot all be in that office at the same time. I, therefore, appeal to you to not see anything as do or die. Whoever wins in the consensus process should be humble enough to reach out to all others, and whoever does not emerge at this time is no less qualified or loved by the party. It is just the nature of political contests like this that one person can only emerge for one position.”

Also speaking after a meeting of political parties with the KWASIEC in Ilorin, the state PDP chairman, Hon. Babatunde Mohammed, said that the party was confident in its readiness to participate under the current schedule of the elections.

The PDP chairman, however, expressed the party’s reservations about KWASIEC and the Kwara state government’s decision to conduct local government elections after nearly six years in power.

“It is concerning that the local government administration has been crippled by the imposition of Transition Implementation Committee (TIC) chairmen, who were illegally appointed by the Governor since 2019 to oversee our local governments”.

The Kwara state PDP also raised concerns regarding the alleged suspicious alliance between the ruling APC and KWASIEC.

“This was evident in the manner the APC Chairman, Mr Sunday Fagbemi, took over the position of KWASIEC’s Chairman, Mohammed. Mohammed Okanla, and responded to salient questions posed to the Commission, rather than allowing the Commission to address these questions.

“Our party chairman, Rt. Honourable Babatunde Mohammed, quickly intervened, challenging Mr Fagbemi’s moral right to answer questions on behalf of KWASIEC when his party was invited like other parties to the meeting.

“The PDP maintained that such behaviour from the APC chairman has led us to question the impartiality of the commission and raises fears of potential manipulation in the forthcoming local government elections since there seems to exist sinister alliance with the ruling APC by the singular behaviour of the APC chairman.

“On the price tags of the nomination forms, our party in solid agreement with suggestions from other parties submitted that the fees attached to nomination forms must be affordable to all prospective aspirants for both councilorship and chairmanship elections.

“The PDP urges KWASIEC to maintain its independence and ensure a fair and transparent electoral process noting that Okanla-led KWASIEC must go extra mile to prove that the commission will not be teleguided by the ruling APC”.

 


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