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Cablegate: Nigeria: Over Ac Objections, Ekiti Held Local Government

VZCZCXRO5933
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHOS #0517 3641142
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 291142Z DEC 08
FM AMCONSUL LAGOS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0391
INFO RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 0032
RHMCSUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS LAGOS 000517

SIPDIS

TREASURY FOR DPETERS, RHALL, RABDULRAZAK

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: OVER AC OBJECTIONS, EKITI HELD LOCAL GOVERNMENT
ELECTIONS

1. (U) Summary: Over objections by the Action Congress (AC), which
had complained that the State Independent Electoral Commission's
(SIEC) composition was not in accordance with the constitution,
Ekiti State held local government area (LGA) elections on December
20. The AC did not participate in the election and turnout was low,
although widespread anticipated violence did not occur. An NGO
chairman said he witnessed PDP and SIEC officials thumb printing
ballot papers. End Summary

2. (U) On December 20, the Government of Ekiti State conducted
chairmanship and councillorship elections in Local Government Areas
(LGAs). The state Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) declared
the ruling Peoples Democratic Party winner of all the 16
Chairmanship elections and 175 of 177 councillorships. All Nigerian
People Party (ANPP) candidate Sunday Omosilade won a seat. The SIEC
canceled the councillorship election in one ward due to alleged
electoral malpractices.
3. (U) According to press reports, a team of independent observers
who witnessed the election said the election was free and fair and
was the best ever conducted in the state. The leading opposition
party, Action Congress (AC) Spokesman, however, faulted the
observers' assessment. (Note: The AC did not participate in the
election because it alleged that the composition of the SEIC was
unconstitutional. End Note.) AC Spokesman Yemi Adaramodu told the
press, December 22, that no objective report could emanate from an
observer team that had been accommodated, fed and paid by the state
government.
4. (U) Yemi alleged gross irregularities in the conduct of the
election, claiming that many voters stayed away and the ruling PDP
was able to use the day to thumbprint ballot papers in their private
homes and voting centers. He said violence occurred in some wards
when PDP supporters attempted to snatch ballot boxes from election
officials and were resisted by some opposition members. A Director
of the Ekiti-based non governmental organization (NGO) confirmed to
PolSpec that voter turnout was low. He alleged that only seven
voters voted in an entire ward in his neighborhood. He observed PDP
and SIEC officials openly thumb print ballot papers to inflate
election results.
Hudson

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