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Parties want states electoral commissions scrapped

28 January 2013, 16:02

Abuja - Four political parties have supported the call for the scrapping of the states independent electoral commissions (SEICs) because they are instruments of political manipulations.

Speaking in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday, Mr Chambers Okorie, a United Progressive Party (UPP) Chieftain, said SEICs had outlived their usefulness.

He said it was so unfortunate that SEICs had not lived up to their responsibilities because they had contributed to apathy, and political instability at the grassroots level.

``SEICs are not interested in conducting credible elections, or inspire trust and confidence through impartiality, transparency, and civility,'' Okorie said.

According to him, SIECs do not respect the wishes of oppositions in their various states.

Okorie said it was so unfortunate that SEICs had allowed the state governments to use them as agents of political settlements at the detriment of democracy at the grassroots.

``SEICs have contributed to political corruption in Nigeria, they have never conducted free and fair elections,’’ he said.

Okorie said the activities of SEICs should be transferred to INEC because the ``Jega led INEC team has brought credibility to bear in the conduct of elections in the country’’.

The Chairman of Labour Party in the FCT, Mr Adejobi Peter, said he was in support of political parties positions in Nigeria calling for the scrapping of SIECs.

He said that labour party was in total support of such decision because SEICs was not democratic and their activities were unhealthy for the development of democracy.

Peter said it was so unfortunate that SEICs had rendered local government elections uncompetitive in the country.

He said SIECs had denied the electorate their rights to good governance because their votes did not count.

Peter said this system had made it difficult for the local governments to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people at the grassroots level.

The Deputy Chairman of APGA in the FCT, Chief Anyegnunamu Okoye, said politicians in the FCT were lucky not to have anything to do with the SEICs.

According to him, councils elections in the FCT are under the supervision of INEC, the councils enjoy free and fair elections.

Okoye said SEICs had not played any better or more positive role in elections at the local level, they had worked towards democratic reversal rather than democratic consolidation.

Okoye said SEICs control should be withdrawn from the state governments and INEC empowered to be incharge.

NAN

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