By Ogar Monday
Stakeholders have called for the scrapping of the State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) as they are merely stooges in the hands of the Governors.
This took centre stage alongside the creation of Ogoja state at the public hearing of the constitutional and electoral review committee of the federal government held Wednesday in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
Former Head of Service in Cross River State, Chief Wilfred Inah who led the onslaught, said Governors have overtime succeeded in making local government elections a one party affair and called on the committee to scrap SIECs and allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct elections into the three tiers of Government.
In a similar vein, Comrade Iso Bassey of the Coalition of Civil Society Groups in Nigeria added his voice to the call for the scrapping of SIEC.
Bassey gave instances of some states where they monitored local polls and the State Electoral Commissions were compelled to announce results which does not reflect the true wishes of the majority of the voters.
For Victor Ibong, all parties are guilty of skewing the process of elections conducted by SIECs to their favour.
Victor canvassed for the creation of Ogoja State, saying that the old Calabar and Ogoja regions have remained neglected despite being among the oldest regions in the country.
However, the Chairman of the Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission (CROSIEC), Dr. Mike Ushie canvassed for the strengthening of SIECs to perform their functions better instead of being scrapped.
Furthermore, Ushie posited that this can come in form of stronger collaboration with INEC, for the two organs to work towards better local government council elections in states.
Also, he called for the proper and faster wards and constituencies delineation to enable electoral commissions prepare better, for elections.