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‘Opposition can win Local Govt elections under my supervision’

| October 30, 2012 More

INECYou’ve just been sworn in as chairman of Bauchi State electoral commission, what will be your priority in office?

Well my priority is to ensure a hitch-free and credible local government elections which will be the most acceptable ever in Bauchi state. I’ll do so by carrying all the registered political parties in Bauchi state not only to participate, but work together to ensure that justice is done to each and every one of them. I’ll also give priority to my workers including the ad hoc staff to be recruited so that with the support of government, political parties and all relevant stakeholders, we’ll succeed. I’ll bring innovations that the people of Bauchi State will see changes that will build our grassroots democracy for the development of the state. But the challenge I have is to satisfy the yearnings of all stakeholders for credible local government elections in Bauchi state.

When you were nominated, opposition parties in the state cried foul because everybody knows you as a card carrying member of the PDP?

That was then. I have built name and reputation not only in Bauchi but all over the country. Before my nomination, I had to call all my ward members particularly the ward chairmen and secretaries and told them that I am no more a card carrying member of the PDP and gave them back their card.

So have you resigned from the PDP?

Of course yes, I have left the PDP since this is a national call. I have to resign to do justice to all because I will be a father to all political parties; if I continue to be in any political party I will not do justice to anybody. And to become a member of any political party is a right given to any Nigerian at anytime he wants he can resign. So I used this right and resigned from PDP. Not only me even my commissioners. We don’t belong to parties, we want to do justice to people, so we’re not card carrying members of any political party.

But you’re known to be close to Governor Isa Yuguda who appointed you into many positions in the past, how can you convince people that you will not dance to his tune during the local government election?

Does being close to people stop you from doing good things? Remember we swore before Allah that we will carry this duty without fear or favor according to the rules of the game. If all of us believe in Allah I believe nothing will stop us from doing justice to people, because we know we will be judged by it on the last day. Should my appointment interfere with the relationship with any other person in this world? But we all know the present administration in Bauchi carries all on board without discrimination, that is the reason we have many political appointees in this government in fact we have the highest number of political appointees in the country. Is it a crime if the governor sees something good in me and calls me to serve and contribute my quota to the development of Bauchi State? I have an open door policy, many people know that, they should come so that we can join hands and move the state forward.

Is there any plan to hold the council polls soon?

If there is no plan then why were we appointed? Yes there is a plan, but I can’t tell the exact date because we were just sworn in and before you conduct the elections you have to follow certain procedures that involve all stakeholders and prepare for the election. First we will deliberate with my commissioners, invite all political parties and relevant stakeholders that matter in the election, you know we have to give even the political parties three months to prepare for the election, we have to draw a plan and timetable, we have to create a conducive atmosphere for all contestants , when we come out with good plan for conducting successful and credible local government election , government will comply and everybody will comply, then we’ll announce the date but first; we need the support of all in order to have internal party democracy. We need time and prayers to deliver, because my business is to conduct the most successful and peaceful local government election.

In many states, only candi-dates of the ruling party win elections, can you make a diffe-rence this time in Bauchi?

Are you talking about winning election or appointing winners? In every credible election voters’ wishes are respected. All political parties are equal before me, we will respect the wishes of the people, we’ll create conducive atmosphere for all to contest freely and we will be fair to all. It’s now left for the political parties to field good candidates that they know can win the heart of the electorates, they should also sell the programmes and manifestos of their parties to the electorates but before SIEC, they’re all equal and we will respect the wishes of the majority. Whoever wins the majority votes, we’ll declare him winner whichever party the person belongs to.

Thuggery, malpractice and other irregularities are usual complaints during elections, how would your experience as a politician serve to check this?

We will do our best with the support of other stakeholders especially political parties. People should fear Allah and follow the laid down rules for the game. If you have confidence you will win, you don’t have to rely on unlawful votes. Candidates should try and win with lawful votes so that we will have credible polls, we will also use the security agencies to ensure peaceful conduct of the elections, in Bauchi state there is a law that bans the use of thugs or carrying weapons during campaigns, we will make sure that this law is followed in order to have peaceful elections .

I will use this medium to appeal to all stake holders to cooperate with us and help us to have smooth and peaceful election I assure you that we will respect the wishes of the people judiciously without any fear or favor.

Culled from DailyTrust

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on Oct 29 2012. Filed under AFRICA, FEATURE, FOR THE RECORDS, From The Press, Front Page Story, NEWS, News Across Nigeria, PHOTO GALLERY, POLITICS.
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