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IPAC calls for national electoral reform conference to review LG system

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  The Inter Party Advisory Council of Nigeria IPAC has called for national electoral reform conference to review the administration of local government system in Nigeria IPAC President Peter Ameh made the call at a news conference after the National Executive 9th inaugural meeting of the council on Wednesday in Abuja Ameh said that there was urgent review of laws establishing the Local government administration to enable it serve the interest of Nigerians He called for the review of Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution to guarantee the existence establishment structure composition finance functions and tenure of local governments Section 162 5 7 of the Constitution should be amended to abolish the Joint State Local Government Account He advised any state governor who felt aggrieved or more interested in local government funds to resign and contest as chairman saying he or she should be rest assured of our support Section 162 5 7 of the Constitution should be further amended to provide that any amount standing to the credit of the local government councils in the Federation Account should be paid directly to the various local governments Ameh said that the local government system had been hijacked by state governors and its current law no longer serve the interest of Nigerians He said that the constitutional responsibility of elected councilors to make bye laws for the good governance and development at the grassroots had been greatly eroded by the excessive interference by governors We have 774 local governments and more than 3 000 councilors in Nigeria and having these large administrative network not applied optimally for the benefit of the Nigerian people is a major setback in our democracy The current law as regards the administration of our local government system no longer serve the interest of the Nigerian people This must be urgently reviewed to save and promote effective local council system as expected in a proper democratic presidential system Ameh said that IPAC would support all efforts as well work with the National Assembly for necessary constitutional amendments that would grant full financial and electoral autonomy to LG system and administration He attributed the inability or failure of the local councils to bring about grassroots development to lack of local government election in Nigeria Ameh also called for the review of Sections 153 197 and the Third Schedule to the Constitution to re design and re order State Independent Electoral Commissions SIECs He described SIECs as the greatest democratic fraud foisted on Nigeria s electoral democracy He said that from the conduct of state elections by SIECs so far it was impossible to get a free fair and credible election under the existing arrangement The current system encourages massive rigging because SIECs are under the wills and caprices of the state governments and the political party in power in each state Hence the call that the responsibility of conducting local government elections be given to the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC he said He said that if local authorities had autonomy and tenure guaranteed it would be easy for people to hold them accountable This will in turn bring development closer to the people and thus make for a robust democracy What is going on presently at the local government level in Nigeria is a mockery of democracy he observed Ameh stressed the urgent need for all stakeholders to work together to establish the needed environment for good governance to develop OBE KOLE KAY Edited by Remi Koleoso Kayode Olaitan
IPAC calls for national electoral reform conference to review LG system

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Advisory Council of Nigeria

The Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC) has called for national electoral reform conference to review the administration of local government system in Nigeria.

IPAC President

IPAC President, Peter Ameh, made the call at a news conference after the National Executive 9th inaugural meeting of the council on Wednesday in Abuja.

Ameh said that there was urgent review of laws establishing the Local government administration to enable it serve the interest of Nigerians.

He called for the review of Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution to guarantee the existence, establishment, structure, composition, finance, functions and tenure of local governments.

Joint State

“Section 162(5)-(7) of the Constitution should be amended to abolish the Joint State/Local Government Account.

He advised any state governor who felt aggrieved or more interested in local government funds to resign and contest as chairman, saying “he or she should be rest assured of our support.

Federation Account

“Section 162(5)-(7) of the Constitution should be further amended to provide that any amount standing to the credit of the local government councils in the Federation Account should be paid directly to the various local governments.”

Ameh said that the local government system had been hijacked by state governors and its current law no longer serve the interest of Nigerians.

He said that the constitutional responsibility of elected councilors to make bye laws for the good governance and development at the grassroots had been greatly eroded by the excessive interference by governors.

“We have 774 local governments and more than 3,000 councilors in Nigeria and having these large administrative network not applied optimally for the benefit of the Nigerian people is a major setback in our democracy.

“The current law as regards the administration of our local government system no longer serve the interest of the Nigerian people.

“This must be urgently reviewed to save and promote effective local council system as expected in a proper democratic presidential system.”

National Assembly

Ameh said that IPAC would support all efforts as well work with the National Assembly for necessary constitutional amendments that would grant full financial and electoral autonomy to LG system and administration.

He attributed the inability or failure of the local councils to bring about grassroots development to lack of local government election in Nigeria.

Third Schedule

Ameh also called for the review of Sections 153, 197 and the Third Schedule to the Constitution to re-design and re-order State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs).

He described SIECs as the “greatest democratic fraud” foisted on Nigeria’s electoral democracy.

He said that from the conduct of state elections by SIECs so far, it was impossible to get a free, fair and credible election under the existing arrangement.

“The current system encourages massive rigging because SIECs are under the wills and caprices of the state governments and the political party in power in each state.”

Independent National Electoral Commission

”Hence the call that the responsibility of conducting local government elections be given to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)”, he said.

He said that if local authorities had autonomy and tenure guaranteed, it would be easy for people to hold them accountable.

“This will in turn bring development closer to the people and thus make for a robust democracy.

“What is going on presently at the local government level in Nigeria is a mockery of democracy,” he observed.

Ameh stressed the urgent need for all stakeholders to work together to establish the needed environment for good governance to develop,
OBE/KOLE/KAY

Edited by Remi Koleoso/Kayode Olaitan

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