By Yakubu Uba
Maiduguri, Nov. 28, 2020 A coalition of eight political parties which withdrew from participating in Borno Local Government elections said they were forced to withdraw for lack of fund to pay fees for the election.
The political parties are National Rescue Movement (NRM), Action Peoples Party (APP), Young Progressing Party (YPP), BOOT Paty, Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Affican Action Congress (AAC), People Redemption Party (PRP) and Allied Peoples Movement (APM).
A statement on Saturday signed by Alhaji Abdulkadir Fema, the Chairman of the Coalition who is also the Chairman of APM, said they were forced to abandon the elections because of the high cost of fees demanded by the Borno State Independent Electoral Commission (BOSIEC).
“BOSIEC is asking us to pay N500,000 for each chairmanship candidate and N250,000 for a councillor.
“The need to realise that things are hard and our candidates cannot afford that.
“We are just denied the opportunity to participate in the elections,” Fema said.
He said that in the last council elections, BOSIEC did not charge any fees.
Reacting to the development, the Executive Chairman of BOSIEC, Alhaji Abdu Usman, said the parties were not just serious in participating adding that the fees were okay.
Usman said that other states charged as much as N1 million and above for chairmanship.
“If their candidates are popular, getting the money won’t be difficult as supporters can contribute to pay.
“We have cases of supporters paying for their candidates,” Usman said.
He explained that at the initial stage 55 parties indicated interest to participate but only 16 did their primaries while 10 submitted the lists of their candidates to BOSIEC.
“When we opened sales of forms, only six parties comprising ADC, Accord, APC, APGA, PDP and SDP bought and the are the only parties participating,” Usman said.
Meanwhile, voting started early in most polling units in Maiduguri metropolis on Saturday.
While the turn out was massive in polling units within Internally Displaced Persons camps, there was low turn out in many polling stations within the metropolis.