Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

NigerianEyeNewsPaperNigerianEyeNewsPaper

Uncategorized

Attorney General Calls for Scrapping State Electoral Commissions

By Grace Chigbu

Abuja – Attorney General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi, has called for the elimination of State Electoral Commissions, citing them as major obstacles to the progress of local governments. Fagbemi made this statement during a one-day discourse on Nigeria’s security challenges and good governance at the local government level, held in Abuja on Monday. The event was organized by the House of Representatives and focused on the theme: “Nigeria’s Security Challenges and Good Governance at the Local Government Levels.”

In his speech, Fagbemi argued that state governors exploit weaknesses in the 1999 Constitution to undermine local governments, making them ineffective. He pointed out that governors use the loopholes in Section 7(1), Section 83(3), and Section 7(5) of the Constitution to impose their will on local governments. This manipulation, according to Fagbemi, has led to the abuse of local government rights and deprived grassroots communities of proper representation and services.

One of the most significant abuses, Fagbemi noted, is the use of state electoral commissions to conduct elections that are often marred by fraud. These commissions, he said, are used by governors to appoint local government leaders through rigged elections, while many governors opt to appoint caretaker committees instead of holding genuine elections. This practice undermines the democratic process and disenfranchises local populations.

Fagbemi also highlighted the misuse of state and local government joint accounts, which allows governors to control federal allocations meant for local governments. This fiscal mismanagement has left local governments financially weak and unable to perform their duties effectively.

To address these issues, Fagbemi called for the scrapping of State Electoral Commissions and suggested transferring their functions to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He argued that this change would help establish a more democratic and fair electoral process at the local government level, free from the influence of state governors.

“To achieve this, many experts have proposed the need to scrap the State Independent Electoral Commission. Their functions and powers should be transferred to the Independent National Electoral Commission because the State Independent Electoral Commission remains an appendage to every incumbent governor. This is perceived as the root cause of the problem of local government administration in Nigeria,” Fagbemi stated.

In addition to advocating for the abolition of State Electoral Commissions, Fagbemi called for a comprehensive constitutional amendment to remove all obstacles that hinder the development of local governments. Such amendments, he suggested, would empower local governments to fulfill their constitutionally recognized functions and provide better governance at the grassroots level.

 

Fagbemi’s comments come in the wake of a legal action he initiated against state governors at the Supreme Court on behalf of the Federal Government. In his suit, he asked the Supreme Court to stop the remittance of local government funds to states and to prevent the 36 state governments from disbanding elected local government chairmen and replacing them with caretaker committees.

 

The discourse on local government autonomy and good governance continues to be a critical issue in Nigeria, as the country seeks to strengthen its democratic institutions and improve service delivery at all levels of government. Fagbemi’s call for reform is seen as a significant step towards addressing these challenges and ensuring that local governments can function independently and effectively, benefiting the communities they serve.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Sports

Two weeks after her death, the loss of former Super Falcons star Ifeanyi Chiejine at the young age of 36 continues to baffle, both...

Outside Africa

“The loss of Hamza bin Ladin not only deprives al-Qa’ida of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important...

Health

Gilead’s antiviral drug remdesivir has been authorized by US regulators for emergency use on coronavirus patients, President Donald Trump announced Friday. US medical officials...

Entertainment News

Fans of Adele were in for a surprise when the singer shared a birthday photo of herself, revealing the results of her recent weight...

Copyright © 2023 NigerianEyeNewsPaper.Com. Design by Weforce Digital Technologies