The Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has vehemently opposed the hasty passage of an Executive Bill aimed at amending the Kwara State Local Government Electoral Law, CAP. K32.
The party’s State Secretary, Abdulrahman Abdullahi Kayode, outlined their concerns and demanded the immediate withdrawal of the bill in a strongly-worded letter addressed to the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Judiciary/Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs at the Kwara State House of Assembly.
The PDP frowned at the speed at which the bill was passed, expressing their disapproval of the nine working days it took to push through such sensitive legislation.
The proposed amendments, particularly the extension of the notification of elections by the Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWASIEC) from 90 to 360 days, raised concerns about the lack of broader consultation with stakeholders such as market associations, artisans, and farmers, whose input could have been crucial in shaping the bill.
The party also raised suspicions about the motives behind the rapid passage, suggesting a potential alignment between the House and the executive arm of the government, casting doubts on the transparency of the legislative process. The PDP further criticized the errors in the bill, emphasizing the need for careful drafting to avoid unintended consequences.
Furthermore, the PDP expressed concerns about the KWASIEC Chairman’s endorsement of the bill, questioning the commission’s ability to ensure free and fair elections if the amendments were implemented.
The party also condemned the exclusion of political parties and other key stakeholders from the public hearing, highlighting the absence of invitations to representatives of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and the media. The PDP viewed this exclusion as a deliberate attempt to stifle dissenting voices and manipulate public opinion.
In light of these concerns, the Kwara State PDP demanded the immediate withdrawal of the bill, calling for a comprehensive reevaluation that includes the active participation of all necessary stakeholders.
The party also urged the swift conduct of local government elections, emphasizing the importance of adhering to democratic principles and ensuring the people’s participation in the political process.
The PDP’s letter concluded with an appeal to the Joint Committee to consider their positions seriously, emphasizing the significance of their input for the development of Kwara State and the well-being of its citizens.
The party also expressed gratitude for the opportunity to voice their concerns and urged the Committee to uphold the integrity of the democratic process.