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YIAGA Africa Head, Itodo Kicks Against Scrapping Of SIECS

Written by on June 26, 2024

By Gilbert joseph

With increasing calls for the scrapping of State Independent Electoral Commissions commonly referred to as SIECs, the Head of YIAGA Africa, Mr. Samson Itodo is kicking against such an attempt on the ground that the Independent national electoral commission, INEC, is itself already overburdened.

He said those behind such calls appeared to be oblivious of the teething problems of INEC that have forced the commission to admit that it already has so much in its kitty to deal with.

Mr. Itodo made the call in Jos during a courtesy visit to the Plateau state Independent Electoral Commission, PLASIEC office.

He therefore argues that it is ironical for Nigerians to advocate for local government autonomy and call for the scrapping of SIECs on the other hand.

In his words, “We disagree with calls to scrap State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) for three reasons. Firstly, some argue that SIECs should be scrapped due to cultural and trend-related issues, such as conducting elections like coronations.

“However, the constitution ensures the financial independence of electoral commissions, which has not been fully implemented and so instead of scrapping SIECs, we should use legal instruments to safeguard their operational and financial independence.

“Secondly, when people advocate for the scrapping of SIECs, they forget that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is already overwhelmed with responsibilities as INEC has stated that it is struggling with its current workload, so it’s unnecessary to burden it with conducting local council elections as well.

“Thirdly, scrapping SIECs would only add to INEC’s responsibilities, which would suffocate it further. Instead, we should allow INEC to focus on its core responsibilities and strengthen SIECs to ensure the independence and credibility of local elections.”

A Board Member of YIAGA Africa and Professor of Constitutional Law, Nnamdi Aduba expressed optimism at the ability of the distinguished members of the state electoral body to deliver excellently.

According to him “I’m impressed by the members of the Plateau State Electoral Commission as the selection of individuals appears thorough.

“As someone who has advocated for the retention of the state electoral commission, I believe that true democracy should be about empowering people at the local level.

“Decentralization and federalism are essential, and we should

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