The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) said today that Dr. (Mrs.) Hannatu U. Biniyat, the Chairman of the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (KASIEC), is working in tandem with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to prevent it from participating in the forthcoming Kaduna State Local Government Councils elections.

In a statement, the party noted that while the efforts of the electoral commission in that regard are being challenged in court, “it has become more glaring that the Electoral Commission is today being used as a fraudulent machinery by the Peoples’ Democratic Party government in Kaduna State to frustrate ACN, the only strong opposition feared by the government.”

The ACN gave a background account of the situation in the party in Kaduna State, involving its change of chairmen in March 2011, and subsequent communication with the electoral commission in that regard.  

“Dr. (Mrs.) Hannatu U. Biniyat, said that for her to determine whom to relate with as the ACN Chairman in Kaduna State, she would have to seek the authority of the Executive Governor of Kaduna State who is the main leader of the Peoples’ Democratic Party in Kaduna State, our arch-rival in the forth-coming Local Government Council elections,” the statement said.  “This is more than baffling to us!”

Furthermore, ACN said, the Chairman of KASIEC refused to issue to ACN the required electoral materials in preparation for the elections, and then, on November 8, 2012, claimed to have released all electoral materials meant for ACN to Mohammed Musa Soba, the former chairman.   

“One wonders when it became part of the powers of a supposedly independent electoral body to impose leaders on a political party,” the statement said.  “Is it not part of the democratic rights of a political party to say who its leaders are more so when the national leadership of our party had indicated the names of the officials of our party in Kaduna State?”

ACN called on “all lovers of democracy, peaceful transition and egalitarianism” to call Dr. Biniyat to order, and “to desist from her evil plans of returning PDP candidates at the on-coming Local Government Councils elections scheduled to hold in December, 2012 in Kaduna State.”

The party said it is aware that Dr. Biniyat is a card-carrying member of PDP, and gave her background as follows:
•    PDP Ward Card Registration Number: 0972
•    Serial Number 341
•    In 2007, she contested for the chairmanship seat of Kaura Local Government Council in Kaduna State.  “We have her poster as evidence,” the party said.
“We know that all her efforts are tailored towards preventing us from being able to field authentic candidates during the elections and to pave way for the emergence of PDP candidates as winners in the absence of any credible and formidable opposition,” ACN said.  “We pledge to continue this fight towards ensuring that justice and democracy reign.”

Full text of the statement:

Grand Design To Exclude Acn From The Kaduna State Local Government Elections: An Appeal For Quick Intervention

It has become ultimately imperative to notify all well-meaning lovers of democracy of the grand design by the Chairman of the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (KASIEC) to exclude our great party, Action Congress of Nigeria, from the Kaduna State Local Government Councils elections scheduled to hold in December, 2012. While these unholy efforts of the Chairman of KASIEC, Dr. (Mrs.) Hannatu U. Biniyat, are being challenged in court, it has become more glaring that the Electoral Commission is today being used as a fraudulent machinery by the Peoples’ Democratic Party government in Kaduna State to frustrate ACN, the only strong opposition feared by the government.

For the sake of clarity, we shall recount the circumstances that led to this brouhaha as follows:

At the State Executive Committee meeting of the Kaduna State chapter of ACN held on the 14th day of March, 2011, the former Chairman of ACN, one Mohammed Musa Soba, was suspended from the office of Chairmanship of ACN due to sundry allegations leveled against him and Alhaji Auwal Isa Gote, the then Deputy Chairman, was unanimously nominated to act as Chairman pending another convention of the Party.

Our National Headquarters was duly notified of the decision of the Kaduna State Executive Committee of ACN by a letter dated 12th May, 2011 pursuant to which the National Headquarters of ACN set up an investigation committee to investigate the development and make appropriate recommendations in respect thereof. Pursuant to the report of the investigation committee, at the National Executive Committee meeting of ACN held on the 15th day of March, 2012 at Reiz Continental Hotel, Abuja, the suspension of Musa Soba was ratified and due notices were sent to the appropriate authorities.

On the 16th day of August, 2012, the Chairman of KASIEC, Dr. (Mrs.) Hannatu U. Biniyat, invited the party leadership of ACN in Kaduna State to a stakeholders’ meeting scheduled to hold on 23rd August, 2012 towards preparations for the forthcoming Local Government Councils elections. While our party officials were getting ready for this meeting, surprisingly, on the 22nd of August, 2012, the Chairman of KASIEC wrote another letter to ACN leaders in Kaduna State withdrawing the earlier invitation until clarification from the ACN National Chairman. The ground of the withdrawal of the invitation, according to KASIEC Chairman, was an alleged protest from Mohammed Musa Soba claiming that he was still the Chairman of ACN in Kaduna State.

Based on the above development, the National Secretary of ACN, Senator Lawal Shuaibu, wrote a letter dated August 30, 2012 to the Chairman of KASIEC stating that Soba was no longer the Chairman of ACN in Kaduna State and that Alhaji Auwal Isa Gote is the Chairman and demanded that no further recognition be accorded Soba. The Chairman of KASIEC, by a letter dated 31st August, 2012, further sought clarification from the National Chairman of ACN and insisted that response from ACN National Secretariat should be signed by both its National Chairman and National Secretary.

By letter dated 5th September, 2012, ACN, in a letter signed by both its National Chairman and National Secretary, sent to the Chairman of KASIEC a list of all its State Working Committee members in Kaduna State which has the name of Alhaji Auwal Isa Gote as State Chairman of ACN in Kaduna State. However, on Monday the 17th day of September, 2012, when the letter from the national leadership of ACN was being delivered to the Chairman of KASIEC, and the State Public Relations Officer of ACN, Comrade Mohd Lawal Buba, together with some other officials of ACN requested for the release of electoral materials from the Chairman of KASIEC. The Chairman, Dr. (Mrs.) Hannatu U. Biniyat, said that for her to determine whom to relate with as the ACN Chairman in Kaduna State, she would have to seek the authority of the Executive Governor of Kaduna State who is the main leader of the Peoples’ Democratic Party in Kaduna State, our arch-rival in the forth-coming Local Government Council elections. This is more than baffling to us!

As if that was not disappointing enough, and further to an unjust denial of our democratic and electoral rights, the Chairman of KASIEC has refused to issue to us all necessary electoral materials like candidate nomination forms in preparation for the elections. We know that KASIEC is only acting out the instructions of the PDP leadership in Kaduna State and is not being fair and impartial in line with its constitutional and statutory mandate as its acts have constituted a threat to our democratic rights. In fact, in a letter dated 8th November, 2012, the Chairman of KASIEC claimed to have released all electoral materials meant for ACN to Mohammed Musa Soba who is not an official of ACN but a PDP agent being used to cause crisis and prevent a formidable opposition against the rudderless PDP government in Kaduna State in the forthcoming elections.

One wonders when it became part of the powers of a supposedly independent electoral body to impose leaders on a political party. Is it not part of the democratic rights of a political party to say who its leaders are more so when the national leadership of our party had indicated the names of the officials of our party in Kaduna State. Despite the pendency of the court action which we instituted on 8 October, 2012 before the Kaduna State High Court, the Chairman of KASIEC has flagrantly continued in her imposition of officials and candidates on ACN in Kaduna State and threatening to hold the elections come what may. We have also learnt of all the efforts of the PDP government in Kaduna State together with the Chairman of KASIEC to waste the time of the court and ensure that the elections hold at all costs.

We, hereby, use this medium to call on all lovers of democracy, peaceful transition and egalitarianism to kindly call Dr. (Mrs.) Hannatu U. Biniyat to order, to desist from her evil plans of returning PDP candidates at the on-coming Local Government Councils elections scheduled to hold in December, 2012 in Kaduna State. WE ARE AWARE OF HANNATU USMAN BINIYAT’S MEMBERSHIP OF PDP AS SHE IS A CARD-CARRYING MEMBER OF PDP WITH WARD CARD REGISTRATION NUMBER 0972 SERIAL NUMBER 341. SHE CONTESTED IN 2007 FOR THE CHAIRMANSHIP SEAT OF KAURA LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF KADUNA STATE. WE HAVE HER POSTER AS EVIDENCE. We know that all her efforts are tailored towards preventing us from being able to field authentic candidates during the elections and to pave way for the emergence of PDP candidates as winners in the absence of any credible and formidable opposition. We pledge to continue this fight towards ensuring that justice and democracy reign.

Thanks.

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