SIEC nominee-membership, INGRA calls for second look

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INGRA, a civil society organisations in Kogi State, has called on the Kogi State Government to take a second look at the the list of names it sent to the State House of Assembly for screening and confirmation as members of the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC).

In a release by INGRA on Thursday in Lokoja, its Executive Directir of the body, Hamza Aliyu, said the call became necessary in view of grey areas in the composition of the nominee-members.

He said though the announcement by the state government, through Omogu Mohammed, Spokesperson of Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello, on the composition of the nominee- members was a welcome development “we however have few concerns with the membership.”

Aliyu acknowledged that the move would set in motion activities toward the long overdue elections into the local government councils.

He, however, noted that “It is strange that the Kogi State Government wants to appoint card carrying members of a political party that will have vested interest in the outcome of the elections, as members of the Commission, most importantly, as the Chairperson of the commission.”

” This will certainly be providing undue advantage to the political party and will certainly not provide the needed perception of fairness and level playing field needed for a credible election.

“In as much as we are clamouring for elections into the local government councils, there is need for every political party to have a sense of fairness going into the election.

“We are also dismayed that the membership of the Commission is devoid of members of the Civil Society who have over time shown their capacity and resourcefulness in engaging the electoral process at State and National levels. There is need for the State Government to look into this issue,” he noted.

The organisation boss also expressed concern over absence of women in the composition and stressed the need to include women in the governance structure of the state.

” We recommend the inclusion of at least, 1 woman in accordance with the NEW DIRECTION POLICY on Gender inclusion,”Aliyu further advised.

Mohammed said the governor’s recommendation was based on Section 197, Sub-section 1(b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as (amended).

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