The Bauchi State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday, decried the recent sack of all electoral officers (EOs) in the 20 local government areas of the state by the state government and subsequent appointment of new ones ahead of the 17th October, 2020 local government elections in the state.
The opposition party in state stated this in a press release issued by its state Publicity Secretary, Adamu Jallah and made available to DAILY POST in Bauchi.
The APC alleged that the government’s action which came few weeks to the council polls was a ploy to rig in favour of the candidates of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The party noted that the Bauchi State Independent Electoral Commission (BASIEC) is the sole body saddled with the responsibility to appoint and deploy electoral officers to various areas.
It stated that instead of allowing BASIEC to perform its duty, the State Local Government Service Commission was allegedly instructed by the state government to sack the electoral officers and appoint new ones.
“Government has sacked all local government Electoral Officers (EOs) in the 20 local government areas who will conduct and supervise the election in their various areas.
“This happened few weeks to the election and Local Government Service Commission instead of BASIEC sent new officers to replace them,” the opposition APC stated.
The party alleged that in order to disqualify candidates of opposition parties from participating in the forthcoming council polls, the BASIEC has come up with too many and complicated requirements for chairmanship and councillorship candidates.
It submitted that this runs contrary to the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and therefore urged the electoral body to not only work in accordance with the law of the land but also be fair to all.
“The Commission has set too many requirements for the candidates which they will use to disqualify any candidate who does not meet those requirements.
“Nigerian constitution allows candidates to contest for elective offices with little requirements, including academic qualifications, but BASIEC is coming up with too many and complicated requirements for local government chairmanship and councillorship candidates.
“We, therefore, urge the commission to work according to the law and be fair to all parties. It is only when the commission remains independent that the election it is going to conduct will be credible,” it submitted.