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Council wants INEC to conduct all elections

24 July 2013, 16:01

Lagos -  Yunusa Tanko, Chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), on Wednesday urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to conduct all elections, including that of the Local Governments in Nigeria.

Tanko made the call in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He argued that if INEC conduct all elections, political parties would accept them as credible.

NAN reports that the Senate had on July 16 voted in support of financial autonomy for the States Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC's) by approving first line charges for them.

"The political parties met in Uyo and agreed on a document as regards the existence of the SIEC's; they do not believe in SIECs.

"And if you give them money from first line charge, the governors will still be the ones to select who becomes the chairman; it still ends up an exercise in futility.

"Therefore, we believe that INEC should still be conducting general elections that will be more credible," he said.

Tanko added that a memorandum to that effect had been submitted to the National Assembly.

Also, Ayo Akintayo, Publicity Secretary, Lagos Chapter, Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), in a separate interview with NAN, said he was in support of the Senate’s decision.

Akintayo frowned at the mode of appointment of the commissioners of SIECs, saying that it was `problematic`.

"I am fully in support of the Senate’s decision because it will enhance SIEC's independence.

"But the mode of the appointment of the electoral commissioners are not transparent''.

Akintayo advised that for there to be transparency, the civil liberty organisations, professional bodies and registered political parties should be represented on the board.

In another interview, Musa Umar, former Deputy National Chairman, Alliance for Democracy (AD), also suggested that INEC should be the one in charge of all elections in the country.

"We have been agitating that all the states electoral commission should be disbanded and taken over by INEC for there to be a unitary electoral body that determines election.

"The issue where the state government creates its commission and the Senate sends money to it is contradictory and confusing, because it’s the state governments that determines its budget," he said.

 - NAN


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