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By Our Reporter

Attorney General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi, has called on the federal government to scrap the State Electoral Committees (SIEC) and remove the conduct of locsl government elections from yhe hand of dtste governors

Fagbemi’s came barely two days after he led the federal government to drag the 36 state governors to court over their alleged strangulation of the local government areas

The AGF says there is the need for scrapping State Electoral Commissions, which he described as the main impediments to the development of local governments.

Recall that the chairman of Independence National Electoral Commission (INEC) professor Mahmoud Yakubu, has last week scolded the chairmen of SIECs during a meeting with them at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja

Yakubu tasked them to help save the nation’s democracy by desisting from their current roles of “coronating candidates of ruling parties during local government area elections in their various states

The AGF made the call at a one-day ‘Discourse on National Nigeria’s Security Challenges and Good Governance At the Local Government Levels” in Abuja on Monday, regretted that state governors have latched on to the inadequacies and lacunas in some sections of the 1999 Constitution to undermine and render local governments redundant.

The programme with the Theme: ‘Nigeria’s Security Challenges And Good Governance At The Local Government Levels’ was organised by the House of Representatives.

He accused governors of exploring the weaknesses of Section 7(1); Section 83(3); Section 7(5) and others to impose their will on the local governments in the country, adding that these inadequacies have allowed the governors to abuse the rights of local governments and in turn deprive people at the grassroots to feel their presence.

Fagbemi while insisting that SIECs be scrapped to give way for true democracy at the local governments, stated that the most prominent abuse of local government was the use of state electoral commissions to impose leaders at the local government levels through sham elections while most Governors only appoint caretaker leadership in their local governments.

He further noted that the abuse of States/ local governments joint accounts by state governors have imposed a fiscal emasculation which has rendered the local governments poor as the governors hold on to their federal allocations.

He therefore called for the scrapping of State Electoral Commissions in order to allow democracy to take its roots in the local governments.

According to the AGF, “To achieve this, many experts have proposed that there is need for the scrapping of the state independent electoral commission. Their functions and powers should be transferred to the independent national electoral commission because the state independent electoral commission remain an appendage to every incumbent governor. This is perceived as the root cause of the problem of local government administration in Nigeria,”

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