The All Progressive Congress (APC) deserves to sweep next Saturday ‘s local government elections in Kaduna state, having spent over N60 billion on 1,293 projects since 2015 in the state, Governor Nasir el-Rufai has said.
Addressing supporters at the flag-off of APC’s campaign for the local government elections at the Kaduna Township Stadium, which had in attendance APC National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed and top party and government officials, el-Rufai said that the money was spent on education, hospital, roads and water projects.
According to the Governor, his government introduced electronic voting to Nigeria as the May 12, 2018 local government elections in Kaduna are to be conducted using Electronic Voting Machines, for which his administration has invested considerable sums because APC believes that votes must count.
El-Rufai, who acknowledged that Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s introduction of card reader for the 2015 elections helped promote electoral integrity, said Kaduna is now taking it a step further to bring full electronic voting, just as he expressed APC’s confidence that the people will entrust the 23 local governments to the party that has given them life.
“As firm believers in democracy at the local level, we have invested considerable time in making our local governments fit for purpose. APC government in Kaduna state has in three years worked hard to overcome the legacy of sorrow that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) left”
He said, “16 years of PDP rule left most public schools without furniture and other amenities, but APC is making life better in Kaduna state. The local government elections present an opportunity for Kaduna state voters to permanently retire politicians of deceit and selfishness who are blocking the progress of the state, and impeding service delivery to ordinary people.
“APC has 1,293 projects at various stages of completion across the state. This is being funded by unprecedented levels of capital spending in the state.
In each of the two full budget years we have had, 2016 and 2017, this government has spent more than N60bn on schools, hospitals, roads and water projects.
“We have made the most significant investment ever to promote electoral integrity and transparency in Nigeria. Our local government elections will be the first ever in Nigeria conducted by electronic voting. By introducing electronic voting machines, this government is affirming its democratic credentials, a firm belief that people’s vote must count.
“This injection of at least N120bn of budgetary investments into our state comes at a difficult period of national economic challenges. But we have been able to do this because we have overthrown the corrupt legacy of the PDP, the purpose of government has been rightly adjusted to making life better for our people.
“We inherited a system where many of our local government councils were so over-bloated that at least eight of them could not pay salaries without state government support. Funds were illegally squeezed from solvent councils to pay bankrupt councils. But by changing the laws, and removing their excess personnel burdens, all of our 23 local government councils are now solvent, able to pay their own staff and still have enough funds left to delivers services and projects.”
APC National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, who handed flags to the party’s chairmanship candidates, said he is proud to be present on the day electronic voting was introduced in Nigeria. Oyegun also received into the APC prominent politicians and their supporters who decamped from the PDP.