By Bashir Bello— KANO
Ahead of the January 16 local government elections in Kano State, the state’s Independent Electoral Commission, KANSIEC, has replaced no fewer than 13 contestants who failed drug tests.
Chairman of KANSIEC, Professor Garba Sheka, who made the revelation, said all the 13 contestants were candidates vying for councillorship seats.
Sheka said the parties disqualified and replaced the persons based on a report by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, after they tested positive for drugs.
He said a chairmanship candidate was also found to have tested positive, but that further checks revealed that he was taking drugs under medical prescription.
According to him, “In fulfillment of KANSIEC criteria, the political parties subjected their candidates to a drug test before the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.
“The outcome of the test shows that 13 councillorship candidates tested positive to drug and one other contesting for chairmanship seat.
“But the chairmanship candidate was later found to be on medical prescription.
“And these reports were ready since December 28, 2020. We waited until all the processes were completed.
“The parties replaced the candidates who tested positive. And those they replaced too were also subjected to test and screening.”
The Chairman who hinted that preparations were in top gear for the conduct of the election, also said about 12 political parties are to participate in the election while 200 electoral observers have indicated interest to monitor the election.
His words: “Preparation is in top gear. We have started sharing non-sensitive materials and it is to be completed by Monday.
“Similarly, by Monday we are expecting to start receiving the consignments of the sensitive materials which we would share on the eve of election day.”