Why opposition parties lose local council elections, by KOSIEC


Kogi State Independent Electoral Commission (KOSIEC), has given reasons why opposition parties in the state always lose local council elections while ruling parties win with very wide margin.

The chairman of the commission, Mr. Andrew Awonipa who made the disclosure when the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) paid him a courtesy visit, dismissed the notion that the commission will always dance to the dictates of the government of the day.

According to him: “Most of the time, the opposition do not work hard to ensure their victory in the election because financially they are not strong enough as the government in power tend to support their own candidates over and above candidates in the opposition.

“Most opposition parties don’t even have party agents at the polling booths during the election to protect their votes because probably they may not have the funds to pay party agents.”According to him, bandwagon effect he said is another factor as the party in power wields the greatest influence and the people tend to easily align with them.

In Kogi when the APC won election, whereby the PDP had majority in the House of Assembly but over time, most of the members decamped to APC and now APC is having the majority.He predicted that in the forthcoming Local council election, the result would most likely go in the same direction.

“It is likely APC will win because the electorate now see APC as being more beneficial to them so the vote will go in that direction, so it is not like the commission is indulging in partiality, we are independent. “Though in terms of funding we might not be independent but we try to be independent as much as possible.”He assured the CAN leadership that his commission would work hard to deliver free and fair election.

“We are going to conduct free and fair local government election though with challenges, unfortunately people don’t believe in Local government election they believe that we will dance to the tune of the government in power it is not always so.”

Chairman of CAN, Bishop John Ibenu, had raised concern over the non-collection of about 8 million Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) nationwide, saying it indicates that there is not enough sensitisation and awareness among the electorates.“We read in the dailies that about 8 million PVCs have not been collected, largely 70 to 80 per cent of which is from the middle belt down to the south-south.

“I remember that in the last election, Borno State where the Boko Haram insurgency was prevalent, the rate of collection of PVCs was 89 per cent. We want you to do that magic for us. The magic that did not prevent insurgency from stopping them from collecting their voter cards.”He admonished Christians and Kogites who are 18 years and above to ensure they register, collect their PVCs and vote. Ibenu challenged Christians to join any political party of their choice as card-carrying members and seek elective positions within the parties from ward level to the national levels.

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Andrew AwonipaKOSIEC
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