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A former chairman of the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), Peter Ojonugwa Amen has identified the lack of good administration at the local government area level as part of the reasons for collapse of the Nigerian economy

Amen, who been a strong advocate for local government area autonomy says the failure of Local Government system has led to the collapse of local economy in Nigeria

The former National chairman of the defunct Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA), who joined in the call for the scrapping of State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs), regretted that governors have made it a process of local government administration to be more of imposition and coronation instead of election.

This is even as he pointed out that the lack of local Government elections have dangerously affected the competitive growth and development of our local communities, declaring that it is inimical to the growth and survival of multi-party democracy in Nigeria

He said; “The lack of transparent elections in local government can have several negative effects, including:

“Undermining democracy_: Non-transparent elections can erode trust in the democratic process and lead to disenfranchisement.

“Opaque elections can facilitate fraud, bribery, and manipulation, enabling corrupt politicians to maintain power.
Without transparent elections, officials may feel unaccountable to citizens, leading to poor governance and mismanagement.

“Disenfranchisement of marginalized groups_: Non-transparent elections can disproportionately affect vulnerable populations, such as minorities, low-income communities, and women.as well as promote political instability_: Disputes and controversies surrounding non-transparent elections can lead to social unrest, protests, and even violence.

“Without accountable and transparent leadership, resources may be misallocated, leading to inefficient public spending.”

He further warned that “Stagnation of local development_: Non-transparent elections can hinder progress on local issues, as corrupt or unaccountable officials prioritize personal interests over public needs. Non-transparent elections can contribute to a culture of impunity, where those in power feel above the law.

Amen therefore emphasized the need for a major electoral reforms to help ensure that the local government is given financial and Administrative autonomy.*

He further advised that “Section 7 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) relating to the place of Local Governments as the third tier of government should be amended to specifically guarantee the existence, establishment, structure, composition, finance, functions and tenure of Local Governments under the Constitution.

“Section 153, 197 and The third Schedule to the Constitution should be amended to provide for the following re-designation and re-ordering of States Independent Electoral Commission:

“At the State level, the State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) should be abolished and its structures incorporated within the structure of INEC to form a single election management body for the country. The State level Secretariat of INEC should therefore consist of 37 Directors of Elections, one for each State and the FCT, appointed by INEC, trained and posted to States other than their States of origin. These Directors should be career officers, and non-partisan persons of unquestionable character and proven integrity.

“At the Local Government level, full time 774 Local Government Electoral Officers should be appointed by INEC after public advertisement inviting applications and posted outside their own Local Government Areas. At least one-third of these Local Electoral Officers should be women.

“At the Ward level, full time 8814 career Assistant Electoral Officers should be appointed by INEC after public advertisement inviting applications and posted outside their wards but within the Local Government Area. At least one-third of these Local Government Electoral Officers should be women”

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