Scrapping SIECs will not make LG elections more credible - IPAC

Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC)

By Adeyemi Adeleye

The Lagos chapter of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has opposed calls on the National Assembly to scrap State Independent Electoral Commissions(SIECs) in the ongoing process of amending the 1999 Constitution.

Lagos Chairperson of IPAC, Mrs Temilola Akinade said this while reacting to calls on the National Assembly to scrap state electoral commissions and transfer the power to conduct local government elections to the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), for better outcomes.

Those advocating the abolition of state electoral commissions argue that state governments exert influence on their respective electoral bodies and manipulate election results to favour the party in power.

Akinade said that scrapping state electoral commissions and allowing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct local government elections would not change the grassroots election pattern.

The IPAC Chairperson said: “We should leave the conduct of local government elections for the state electoral commissions.

“All we ought to do is to strengthen our laws to make manipulation and rigging of elections almost impossible.

“We should have a template that will always make votes count in elections conducted either by INEC or SECs.

“INEC has a lot at hand, and we cannot say they have performed exceptionally.

“I don’t believe in INEC conducting LG elections The so-called ruling party is everywhere and also has influence on INEC.

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“So, even if INEC conducts LG elections, the usual thing will still happen. The ruling party still does things to have their way,” she said.

According to her, only strong institutions and strong laws can stop rigging, not INEC.

“We must have electoral reforms and technologies that will make manipulations in elections impossible.

“If we don’t have the strong laws and institutions, the ruling party will continue to have their way in elections,” Akinade said.

She urged the National Assembly to rather work on measures that would make votes count in elections.

Calling on SECs to always carry all political parties along in all local polls, Akinade said that many people and political parties were still in the dark about state electoral laws.

“People should have copies of the state electoral laws,” she said.

She, however, said that a situation where the ruling party wins all local government areas in a particular state raises questions about the credibility of the process.


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