The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Niger state chapter has taken a swipe at the imposition of administrative charges on candidates contesting the November 30, 2019, local government election by the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC).
The party accordingly rejected the charges saying it is not only illegal but unconstitutional. Further, the party said it will not oblige them the charges because it is not its responsibility to fund public projects.
The party also threatened to drag the SIEC to court if it fails to do away with the so-called administrative charges.
The party chairman, Barrister Tanko Beji, who was reacting to the directive in a memo issued by the SIEC on Monday, said the party had accordingly written to the SIEC to withdraw the charges or contest it at the court.
The SIEC in a memo to all registered political parties in the state signed by its Secretary, Alhaji Abdullahi Bobi, asked all chairmanship and vice chairmanship candidates contesting in the election to pay administrative charges of N100,000 each while councillorship candidates would each pay N20,000.
With the development, PDP which is fielding 50 chairmanship and vice chairmanship candidates as well as 274 councillorship candidates the party is expected to pay N10,480,000.
“We will not pay; we are not obliged to pay because it is not our responsibility to fund the public project. There is nowhere in the country that this is done.
“We aware that the state INEC submitted its budget to the state government and the government, we learnt, has graciously approved the budget. It is pursuant to that that the commission released the timetable for the election; it couldn’t have released the timetable without money to conduct the election.
“As a party therefore, PDP has resolved not to make any financial commitment to the commission to enable it conduct the election.
“To show our readiness, it is only the PDP that has complied with the electoral guidelines. We have submitted the names of all our candidates; we have done what is expected but we cannot be caged by the commission by demanding that we must pay the sum of N4,480,000 to them,” Beji said.