APC, PDP, others pay ‘administrative charges’

.Set for Nov 30 Niger LGC polls

By Ummi Ismaeel,

At last the major opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some other registered political parties in Niger State have paid the ‘‘Administrative Charges’’ as demanded by the Niger State Independent Electoral Commission (NSIEC).
Besides, they are now set to participate in the Local Government Council (LGC) election scheduled for November 30, 2019.

The PDP and some opposition parties had initially opposed to the LGC election over some irregularities including alleged imposition of “administrative charges” by the NSIEC, which they also termed as, ‘illegal’.
According to sources, each chairmanship and vice chairmanship candidate from the 25 LGCs are to pay N100, 000 while each of the councillorship candidates are to pay N20, 000.
The PDP had first raised alarm over demands by NSIEC for the payment of the levy before other political parties added their voice in condemning the act, describing it as illegal and threatened to challenge the policy in the law courts.
However, political parties in the state, including the PDP, have as at early this week paid the ‘administrative charges’ on behalf of their candidates.
Our correspondent gathered that the PDP also secured a Court order insisting that the amount should be collected from the political parties since the period for submission of nomination papers had closed.
The PDP Vice Chairman, Niger-North senatorial district, Alhaji Yahaya Ability, who confirmed the unfolding political developments in the state on the Local Government election said, “We have paid for all our candidates”.
Yahaya pointed out that the PDP would go ahead with its case in the court challenging the legality or otherwise of the imposition of the administrative charge after collecting N100, 000 and N20, 000 from all the chairmanship, vice chairmanship and councillorship aspirants, respectively.
Also, the Alliance for Democracy (AD) candidate for Chanchanga Local Government Council, Alhaji Mohammed Kabiru, said that his party was yet to pay the ‘administrative charges’, stressing, “We are in Court”.
Kabiru, however, expressed preparedness of his party to pay for all AD candidates if the court rules otherwise.
Meanwhile, the Niger State chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Jibrin Mohammed Imam, when contacted, confirmed that payment had been made on behalf of all the chairmanship and councillorship candidates by the party.
His words: “We are a law abiding party. We have complied with all the laws for the conduct of the election.”
He praised Governor Abubarkar Sani Bello for being ‘‘A true Democrat’’ for haven conducted second LGC election within a period of five years.
According to the chairman, “Governor Sani Bello is a true democrat. In just five years he conducted the second local government election in Niger State. The PDP was able to conduct only one local government election in 16 years now they are complaining”.
The Chairman, Niger State Independent Electoral Commission, Alhaji Aminu Baba Alhaji, also confirmed that most of the parties have complied with the law by paying the ‘administrative charges’.

According to the NSIEC chairman, “We are set for the November 30th Local Government Council election”.

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