Home Politics Politicians hail National Conference recommendation that SIÈCLE be scrapped

Politicians hail National Conference recommendation that SIÈCLE be scrapped


ABUJA – Delegates to the National Conference on July 1, 2014, recommended the scrapping of State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) and their functions transferred to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The delegates argued that SEICs had outlived their usefulness and had become avenues for governors to manipulate elections into local government councils.

Consequently, a cross section of politicians interviewed by correspondents of the News Agency (NAN) hailed the recommendation, saying it would not only accelerate national development but would also strengthen democracy in the country.

Mr Rafiu Salau, the National Secretary, Alliance for Democracy (AD), commended the delegates for making the recommendation, saying it would strengthen democracy in Nigeria.

He said: “SIEC has not been able to conduct free and fair elections in the last 15 years of democracy in Nigeria.

“The outcome of all elections conducted by the commission across the states are always in favour of the ruling party.

“If elections are free, fair and credible at the local government level, the nation will witness rapid development.

“If SIEC must continue to exist, the constitution should also make provision for it to recruit its staff to enable it to carry its duties without fear or favour.”

Speaking in the same vein, Malam Bashir Ibrahim, the National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), said officials of SIEC across the country had performed poorly as incumbency factor always played up in elections conducted by the commission.

He said “the ruling party in the states always win elections conducted by SIEC; an indication that incumbent parties are favoured in such elections.’’
Ibrahim, however, suggested that SIEC should not be totally abolished but be compelled by the constitution to conduct free, fair and credible elections.

Alhaji Balarabe Musa, the National Chairman, Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) also hailed the recommendation.

He said that if the recommendation that SEIC should be scrapped eventually sail through, the role of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be examined to make it more relevant.

“INEC should be made independent enough to be able to conduct free, fair and transparent elections,” he said.

Musa stressed that elections and politics must not be monetised, adding that “if money is allowed to play deciding roles in politics, the conduct of free, fair and transparent elections will be impossible.’’

On his part, Mr Peter Ameh, the National Chairman, Progressive Peoples’ Alliance (PPA), described the recommendation to scrap SIEC as “a welcome development.’’

Ameh, who criticised the manner in which state governments took total control of the SIECs through the provision of funds, said “some state governments provide SIECs with funds  which makes them to compromise on their duties.’’

The PPA chairman said the political trend was that the party in power must always win election in the states.

In his response, Alhaji Abubakar Usman, the Chairman, Forum for Local Government Chairmen Aspirants in Bauchi State,  also lauded the conference for recommending the scrapping of SEIC.

He said that the recent appointment of caretaker committees for the local government councils by the state government showed the irrelevance of the commission.

Abubakar, who is the aspirant for the position of Chairman, Bauchi Local Government on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), claimed that SEIC had not conducted local government election in Bauchi State in the past two and half years. (NAN)[eap_ad_3]

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