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PDP knocks Oshiomhole for opposing scrapping of SIEC

Nigerian News Update » Nigerian Newspapers
Punch Newspaper
The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic has faulted the immediate past governor of the state, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, for objecting to the proposal to scrap states’ independent electoral commission as part of the ongoing constitution amendment by the National Assembly.

The Senate had, last week, approved the transfer of the conduct of local government polls from the SIEC to the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Oshiomhole had, in an interview, described the decision of the Senate as another step in the bid of the National Assembly to withhold devolution of powers to the states.

He had questioned the business of the Federal Government in the conduct of council elections.

“When our people are in a position to make changes, they tend to abandon them for other issues. In the US, they call local government authorities mayors or county councils.

“So, why will it be Abuja’s business to conduct local government elections? We just need to remain consistent rather than beat about the bush, by ensuring that we give more resources to the states and less resources to the centre,” Oshiomhole had said.

But the state Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, told The PUNCH on Sunday that the transfer of power to organise LG polls to INEC would give credibility to the system.

Orbih added, “I believe that is the proper thing to do to avoid a situation where we have people who, when they are in office as governors, just sit down and write the names of those who should be declared as elected council chairmen and councillors. They do that, knowing full well that when the LG allocations come, they would do whatever they like with it.

“So, you don’t expect a man like Oshiomhole to ever support the transfer of the conduct of local government elections from state (electoral commission) to INEC. I believe that it will give credibility to the system.”

The PDP chairman argued that state electoral commission had lost its independence to the governors of the respective states and, therefore, failed to conduct free and fair local government elections.

Obih stated, “Most local government (poll) results are usually predictable; any party that is in government in any state would just sit down and write the names of those who should be declared elected. Let the people at the grassroots have the opportunity to determine those who should be elected.

“The state electoral commissions have performed woefully because most of them are not independent. They don’t get direct allocations to carry out the elections.

“So, in most cases, they just take instructions from the governors. I think the time is right for us to end it so that democracy can grow.”

Reacting to Oshiomhole’s statement that Makarfi-led PDP would not be accepted by Nigerians in 2019, Obih noted that the former Edo governor could not be taken seriously.
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