The Yobe State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has announced its non-participation in today’s council election by the State Independent Electoral Commission (YOSIEC).
The party cited the recent security concerns expressed by chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Electoral Commission about a fortnight ago.
Yobe is one of the three states affected by the Boko Haram insurgency and is currently under emergency rule.
Speaking through its State Chairman, Alhaji Lawan Gana Karasuwa, PDP alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had planned to rig the polls.
“With these observations, which are both political and security, how could PDP participate in the elections”, he quipped.
However, five other political parties, beside APC, have confirmed their intention to field candidates to contest for chairmanship and councillorship seats in 178 wards.
They include Alliance for Democracy (AD), National Conscience Party (NCP), Citizens’ Peoples Party (CPP), Advance Congress of Democrats (ACD) and People for Democratic Change (PDC).
It would be recalled that a coalition of political parties in the state few weeks ago had passed a vote of confidence on YOSIEC ahead of the election.
Meanwhile, the chairman of YOSIEC, Mohammed Jauro Abdu has confirmed the readiness of the commission to conduct the council elections even as military authorities have restricted movement of vehicles and persons during the elections.
According to Abdu, all sensitive and non-sensitive materials for the elections have already been dispatched to all local government headquarters in the state for onward distribution to polling units in the areas.
Announcing the restriction of movement, the 3 Division of the Nigerian Army in a statement signed by its spokesman, Capt. Eli Lazarus, said it would be from 8AM to 3PM, adding that only essential services personnel would be allowed in the discharge of their duties.
While wishing people of the state a peaceful election and a prosperous New Year, the statement enjoined the electorate to cooperate with security agencies and avoid any act capable of breaching the public peace during and after the election.