The Kaduna State Government has assured of free, fair and credible election, ahead of the May 12, Local Government elections in the state.
Speaking during the campaign flag-off ceremony held at the Kaduna township stadium in the state capital, Governor El-Rufai expressed confidence of total victory for his party, due to the numerous people-oriented projects executed by the APC led administration in the state.
The governor led leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress( APC) in the state to flag off the party’s campaign across the 23 local government areas in the state.
He also assured that the local council election will be transparent and credible ever than before, especially with the introduction of electronic voting, which is the very first in the country.
Thousands of members and supporters of the All Progressive Congress gathered at the Kaduna Township stadium to witness the official campaign flag off of the local government election slated for May 12, 2018.
The rally had in attendance, APC National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, Governor Nasir El-Rufai and his deputy, Bala Bantex, Minister of state Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed and other party chieftains.
The rally was to present both the chairmanship and councillorship candidates to the electorates and also solicit for their support.
The campaign train was expected to move across the 255 wards and 23 local government areas of the state.
Oyegun, who handed flags to the party’s chairman candidates, said he was proud to be present on the day electronic voting was introduced in Nigeria.
The National chairman also received into the APC prominent politicians and their supporters who have decamped from the PDP.
Addressing the mammoth crowd, Governor El-Rufai says his administration has invested a considerable sum of money to ensure that the election is free and fair.
Reeling out some programmes executed by his administration in the state, El-Rufai says said despite the recession that affected the country, his administration has executed several projects across the state, including the construction of new classrooms, roads, bridges and hospitals.
“We have made the most significant investment ever to promote electoral integrity and transparency in Nigeria. Our local government elections will be the first ever in Nigeria conducted by electronic voting.
“By introducing electronic voting machines, this government is affirming its democratic credentials, a firm belief that people’s vote must count,” El-Rufai said.
Acknowledging that INEC’s introduction of the card reader for the 2015 elections helped promote electoral integrity, El-Rufai said Kaduna is now taking it a step further to bring full electronic voting.
El-Rufai added that the APC was making life better in Kaduna State, saying that the APC government in the State has in three years worked hard to overcome the legacy of sorrow that PDP left. He reminded the people that 16 years of PDP rule left most public schools without furniture and other amenities.
He said:”In each of the two full budget years we have had, 2016 and 2017, this government has spent more than N60bn on schools, hospitals, roads and water projects.
“This injection of at least N120bn of budgetary investments into our state comes at a difficult period of national economic challenges. But we have been able to this because we have overthrown the corrupt legacy of the PDP; because the purpose of government has been rightly adjusted to making life better for our people through a commitment to their Education, Health, Jobs and Security.”
According to him, “As firm believers in democracy at the local level, we have invested considerable time in making our local governments fit for purpose.
“It is no exaggeration to affirm that we have reinvented the local government system.
“We inherited a system where many of our local government councils were so over-bloated that at least eight of them could not pay salaries without state government support. That system was so perverse that funds were illegally squeezed from solvent councils to pay bankrupt councils.
“By changing the laws, and removing their excess personnel burdens, all of our 23 local government councils are now solvent, able to pay their own staff and still have enough funds left to delivers services and projects. We have set our local government councils free from years of bankruptcy.”
During the campaign rally, some decampees from other political parties were formally received by the APC leadership with a promise to give them equal opportunities.