Niger East poll: APC insists on re-deployment of REC

By Aideloje Ojo

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Niger state may be constrained to boycott the forthcoming bye-election in Niger East Senatorial Zone fixed for August 16, if the Residence Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Emmanuel Onucheyo, is allowed to preside over the election.
The party stated this yesterday in a statement issued in Minna by its state Publicity Secretary, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, insisting that allegations against the REC of his romance with the PDP-led government in Niger state had been proven to be correct.
APC had last week, drawn the attention of the general public to a proposal by the REC to the state government, requesting the sum of N44,375,850 to organise National Inter-Agency Advisory Committee on Voter Education and Publicity which he is the Chairman with all other members drawn from the PDP Government.

He said: “Although the REC tried hard to deny making any financial demand from the PDP Government, the Secretary to the Niger state government, Hon. Saidu Ndako Idris Kpaki, confirmed that a proposal with the same amount quoted by APC was actually brought before the government by the REC, but N28.7 million was eventually approved by State Executive Council in one of its meetings.”
He urged the public to note that the N20 million for the renovation of the INEC Secretariat in Minna after the post-election violence which the REC admitted as the only money he had so far collected from the state government was not the money APC was accusing him of but the N28.7 million.
The APC spokesman said apart from the REC romance with the PDP government, APC had discovered that Dr. Emmanuel Onucheyo “is a card-carrying member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), having contested and was defeated as PDP governorship Aspirant in Kogi state during the 2003 general elections.”
“There is no doubt that as a PDP card carrying member, Dr. Emmanuel Onucheyo, will certainly have the sympathy for the Party (PDP) and APC therefore believe that he cannot conduct a free and fair election under these circumstances.”