The Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWASIEC) has debunked report in a national daily that it denied the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Offa Local Government Area of the state the opportunity to participate in the November 18, 2017 council poll in the state, describing the report as falsehood and misleading.
The commission in a statement personally signed by its chairman, Usman Ajidagba said: “We are constrained to make some clarifications on the issue which has not only been mischievously presented to the public but which has also been twisted to blackmail the commission”.
According to him: “The truth of the matter is that the commission held series of meetings with the representatives of all registered political parties in Kwara State during which guidelines and timetable were distributed to all of them. In the meetings, specific emphasis was laid on the time frame for party primaries, collection and submission of both data and nomination forms, in line with the provisions of the extant laws.
“We have the accurate record of all the participants as well as what transpired. With particular reference to the allegation made by a group of people who claimed to be members of PDP, we wish to state that a member of the caretaker committee of PDP in Kwara State, one Sulaiman Abubakar Danseko in company of their administrative secretary, one Alhaji Maiyaki, came to the commission to collect data forms for the party. That time, a total of 16 were collected for the chairmanship and 193 copes for the councillorship seats in the state.”
The statement further read: “On 19th September, which was the last day for submission of both the data and nomination forms, same Abubakar Danseko and some other officials of PDP came to the commission and submitted nomination forms in respect of only 12 chairmanship and 136 councillorship positions. They said that was all the forms they had to submit. All the nomination forms for 12 chairmanship and 136 councillorship were duly returned as at 12 midnight on 19/9/2017. In a whole, no data or nomination form was returned to the commission in respect of Offa LGA, either for councillorship or chairmanship positions.
“As at 3.35am on Wednesday, 20/9/2017, the same Abubakar Danseko, Maiyaki and the Secretary of the caretaker committee of PDP were in the commission collating and sorting all their forms earlier submitted. It is therefore, disheartening that an individual or group whose party did not include his/her name in the returned completed nomination forms to the commission to allege any exclusion or denial to contest in the election in any LGA, including Offa.”
SIKIRAT SHEHU, Ilorin