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Enugu LGA Poll:  APC Slams ENSIEC Over N300k  Nomination Fee for Aspirants

From  Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The  All Progressives Congress (APC) has  picked holes in the guidelines released by the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) for the conduct of the November 4 local government elections in the State, saying the N300,000, (three hundred thousand) naira  nomination fee for Aspirants was unconstitutional.

Briefing newsmen in Enugu shorty after making its observations on the guidelines known to the Dr. Ben Nwoye, led  leadership of the party in the state, Chairman of the APC Local Government Committee, and immediate past Speaker of Enugu state House of Assembly, Barrister Eugene Odo, said his committee found out discrepancies and contradictions in the guideline and timetable produced by ENSIEC. 

Odo, said his committee observed that in the guidelines, ENSIEC pegged the nomination form for chairmanship at N300, 000, but nothing was said about councillorship.

According to him, under the laws, nothing suggests that ENSIEC should impose levies on aspirants.

The APC chieftain added, “We draw our inference from INEC. Most people who contested election in the country from House of Assembly to Governorship, National Assembly and presidency, did not pay a kobo.

“In the guidelines, ENSIEC suggested open ballot system. In the timetable, the same ENSIEC suggested open secret ballot system. We find it inexplicable. INEC should take a position and it must comply with the law” Odo said.

The former Speaker, further wondered why ENSIEC should arrogate to itself, the powers to monitor party primaries, whereas it only has powers to observe.

Odo equally noted that  it was common knowledge that all ENSIEC members are card carrying members of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and wondered how a partisan person could bequeath a credible election to the people of Enugu State.

“We hope they would live above board. We will know whether they are there to render service or service their former and current members. We also observed that they have been constituting ad-hoc officials without consulting the people. They should advertise for ad-hoc staff so that credible people can apply” Odo said.

He said his committee advised party leadership to visit ENSIEC to know whether they are ready and willing to conduct the election.

The  Enugu state APC  council election chairman,  said if ENSIEC and its pay mater are ready, then APC would go for the election, but if not, the party leadership was advised to visit the heads of all security agencies in Enugu State, including the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division Enugu, Director of Department of State Services (DSS), Commissioner of Police, with a view to enlightening them on the danger that may occur if ENSIEC fails to conduct credible elections.

Odo, made it clear that APC would  resist  any attempt to rig  it  out of the election by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

He said his committee recommended that APC should adopt internal democracy in selection of candidates for the election and this would be done through direct primaries.

His committee, he hinted, also recommended the constitution of a committee to prosecute the election to be led by the State Caucus of the party as well as  other committees such as fundraising, security, screening, campaign, among others.

On the fee to be paid for expression of interest form, by APC Aspirants,  Odo, said his committee recommended N50,000 for chairmanship aspirants and N10, 000 for Councillorship aspirants.



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