From: Ali Abare, Gombe
A former Head of Public Relations for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Malam Ibrahim Biu, has advocated for the scraping of State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC).
Biu, who is also the Managing Director of the Gombe-based Progress Radio, stated this in Gombe, on Monday, during the public hearing organised by the Constitutional and Electoral Reform Committee for the North East region led by former Senate President, Ken Nnamani.
Accordong to Biu, “In Nigeria particularly in this region North East geo- political zone, elections especially at local level, chairmen, councilors have been a mockery of democracy.
“Perhaps elections are mere rituals as there are serious issues of dictatorship and imposition in the system.
“Winners are often not actually elected by the people but by some kind of hallow process and leaving millions of citizens helpless and disenfranchise.
“Opposition parties, media organizations and common voters are all deprived of their rights to excise their civic responsibilities” he said.
Biu is currently pursuing his PhD on electoral matters in Nigeria.
He urged the committee to listen to the voices of the common men and women towards the betterment of the country’s electoral process, as elections are important aspects for sustaining democracy in developing countries like Nigeria
“I want the committee to take time and carefully study the recent Local Government elections in Kano, Yobe, Niger, Gombe and other states.
“All these elections are nothing but mockery of democracy because situation where the ruling party in the state captured all the seats of chairmen and councillorship raised serious questions in the mind of the common Nigerian” he said.
He further said that if truly Nigerians want democracy to succeed, local government elections must be used as the true foundation to test the country’s electoral reform.