The Initiative for Grassroot Advancement, INGRA has criticized the nominees of Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello as a member of the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC).
The Governor through his Chief Press Secretary in statement on Wednesday night had forwarded eight names to the State House of Assembly, for Screening and Clearance which is expected to take place today at the hallowed chamber.
The SIEC nominees as submitted by the Governor to the House include; Lawal Shiru, Chairman Lokoja/Koto Federal Constituency
Ozovehe John Enesi ,Secretary Adavi/Okehi Federal Constituency, Adaji Ainoko, Member Dekina/Bassa Federal Constituency.
Others are Musa Adama (Babakeke), Member Idah Federal Constituency, Hon. Funsho Olorunfemi, Member Kabba/Bunu Federal Constituency, Chogudo Yakubu Musa, Member Okene/Ogori Magongo Federal Constituency,vHon. Labaran Yahaya Oyigebe, Member Ankpa Federal Constituency and Abdulkarim Jamiu, Member Ajaokuta Federal Constituency.
The Governor’s recommendation is based on section 197, sub-section 1(b) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
Reports that, the responsibility of the SIEC is to conduct free, fair and credible Local Government and Council polls in the state.
Reacting to the composition of SIEC, the Executive Director of INGRA, Hamza Aliyu in a statement on Thursday lamented that, the Kogi State Government wants to appoint card-carrying members of a political party that will have vested interest in the outcome of the elections, as members of the Commission and most importantly as the Chairperson of the commission.
Aliyu observed that, this will certainly be providing undue advantage to the political party and will certainly not provide the needed perception of fairness and level playing field needed for a credible election.
The Activist also carpeted the governor for excluding women from the SIEC nominees.
The statement reads in part, ”The announcement on the 12th February 2020 by the Kogi State Government, through the Spokesperson of the Executive Governor Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello, of the composition and forwarding of the members of the Kogi State Independent Electoral commission (SIEC) is a welcome development and will set in motion activities towards the long overdue elections into our local government councils, which had been governed by unelected officials since 2016.
“It is strange that the Kogi State Government wants to appoint card-carrying members of a political party that will have vested interest in the outcome of the elections, as members of the Commission and most importantly as the Chairperson of the commission. This will certainly be providing undue advantage to the political party and will certainly not provided the needed perception of fairness and level playing field needed for a credible election.
“In as much as we are clamouring for elections into the local government councils, there is need for every political party to have a sense of fairness going into the elections
“We are also dismayed that the membership of the Commission is devoid of members of the Civil Society who have over time shown their capacity and resourcefulness in engaging the electoral process both at State and National levels. There is need for the State Government to look into this issue.
“There is also a glaring absence of women from the commission. This again speaks to the deliberate policy of the State Government in excluding women from the governance structure in the state. We recommend the inclusion of at least 1 woman in accordance with the NEW DIRECTION POLICY on Gender inclusion”.
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