Thirty one political parties, including the Peoples Democratic Party, said they would boycott the Local Councils’ election in Kaduna State holding today.
The parties under the aegis of Coalition of Political Parties in Kaduna State, made their stand known at a press conference on Friday in Kaduna.
the coalition hinged their decision on the alleged violation of the Constitution and Electoral Act by the state electoral body in the run up to the polls.
Umar Ibrahim and Mohammed Wada, Chairman and Secretary of the coalition, said the State Independent Electoral Commission had ignored vital provisions of the law, which would negate the integrity of the polls.
“It is on record that the State Independent Electoral Commission has deliberately refused to make use of the INEC card reader machine for authentication of voters during the election, display the voters register at polling units for voters to confirm their names and eligibility to vote.
They added that the commission had also failed to “display the names of aspirants to the public for a minimum period of 10 days in accordance with the extant laws.”
The coalition further raised security concern, saying that action of some key political actors in the build up to the election may lead to crisis and deprive voters the chance to exercise their civic duties.
“It is pertinent therefore, that the Kaduna State Coalition of Political Parties in the interest of peace and safety of lives and properties of our candidates and the general public, that we have decided to boycott the forthcoming local government election.
“We therefore urge the general public to remain calm and pursue their legitimate businesses, while we use this medium to appeal to our members to remain prayerful in their various places.
“As law abiding citizens we will continue to pursue all elements of illegality and violation of the electoral laws at the appropriate court of law.”
Although officials of the electoral commission were not immediately available for comment on the development, the main opposition party in the state said it was not part of the decision.
Mr Hassan Hyet, the State Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said at another press conference, that the party had noted keenly the fears of the coalition, but it will still participate fully in the election.
According to him, boycotting the election is not the best option now.
“The PDP is not part of the decision to boycott the election, we are fully ready to participate in the election, however all the fears raised in the position of the coalition are noted,” the chairman stated.
“We as a party are not part of this, and we call on all our supporters to come out,” Hyet added.