By Olayinka Ajayi
Katsina State Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shama, yesterday, boasted that the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) was no match for his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the PDP coasted home to victory in the state’s local government elections by landslide.The PDP was the only strong contender in the race as the APC shunned the election.
All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA; Progressive Party Alliance, PPA and three other parties, however, participated in the elections. In almost all the local government areas of the state, there was large turn out of voters, especially women.
There was the usual restriction of movement as all entry points to the state were shut. As early as 9am,electoral officials were already seated expecting voters to start casting their votes. Exactly. 10.10 a.m., Shema was at T.V Centre, Dutsin-ma where he voted.
Speaking with journalists thereafter, Shema said the PDP remained the party to beat in Katsina, explaining that he would have loved his party (the PDP) to contest the election with all the parties, particularly the APC, in the state, but it was obvious that the parties were not on ground. ‘’The state electoral body fixed the price of forms at N250,000 for the office of chairman,N100,000 for that of councillor. The opposition parties complained that the money was too high. The body slashed it by 50%,yet they could not pay.
The electoral body gave 30 days notice for submission of forms. They complained that it was too early. It gave them another 30 days grace, yet they complained before they were given another 35 days grace. It was after this that they sought refuge in the judiciary by asking to stop the election. They went to the Federal High Court in Abuja before returning to Katsina High Court, both of which turned down their request.
The only sensible thing to do next is to conduct the election which we have all seen to be transparent,fair and credible. Once the electoral body announces the results, the winners would be sworn-in the first working day of the week. I won’t delay the implementation of the peoples will. We are sure of winning this election,not because the party is in power but because we have met and still meeting the aspirations of our people. This state is the only state in the country that has been in the hands of the PDP almost 100 percent. ‘’