Members of the Niger State House of Assembly have called on State Governor, Alh. Abubakar Sani Bello to direct the Niger State Independent Electoral Commission (NSIEC) to suspend the forthcoming local government council election over non-compliance with the extant law.
The grassroots election for the 25 LGs is fixed for November 5, 2022.
The resolution was taken following a Matter of Urgent Public Importance raised by Hon. Malik Madaki Bosso representing Bosso Constituency during plenary.
The lawmaker noted that from NSIEC’s timetable published for the conduct of local government council election, party primary elections are scheduled between August 20-27, while election proper holds on November 5.
Bosso argued that there are approximately 39 days between the primary election and election which is less than 180 days provided by the law.
According to him, Section 29 Sub Section 1 of the Electoral Act provides that every political party shall not later than 180 days before the date appointed for a general election under this act, submit to the commission in the prescribed forms, the list of the candidates the party proposes to sponsor at the elections, who must have emerged from valid primaries conducted by the political party.
“Section 20 of the Niger State Local Government Council Election Law 2002 provides that election to local government council shall be in accordance with the provisions of the electoral act and local government law and any regulations made under Section 19 of this law.”
Bosso, therefore, insisted that if the state electoral body goes ahead to conduct the council elections in the state as scheduled in the timetable, it would run foul of the law.
The lawmakers took turns to air their views on the LG polls, saying as true representatives of the people, the issue of insecurity facing the state should be the paramount concern against that of holding council elections.
They claimed that at the moment most of the LG areas have been ransacked by bandits in the state, insisting that the state government is currently struggling to pay the salaries of civil servants due to the economic downfall even as university students remain at home over ASUU/FG face off.
They also noted the need for the House to rise up to challenges confronting the state, especially the security of the citizenry.
Hence, the House directed the state electoral commission to put on hold the scheduled timetable and adhere to Section 20 of the Local Government Election Law, 2002, and Section 29 Sub Section 1 of the Electoral Act, 2022.