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Former Lawmaker Advocates Transfer of Local Government Elections to INEC

In a recent interview in Abuja, former member of the House of Representatives, Sam Onuigbo, made a compelling case for the transfer of the conduct of local government elections from State Electoral Commissions to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Onuigbo, who represented the Ikwuano/Umuahia North and South federal constituency at the Ninth National Assembly, emphasized the need for this change during the ongoing Review of the 1999 Constitution by the National Assembly.

Mr. Onuigbo’s proposal garnered support from various quarters, including prominent politicians and rights activists like former governors Adams Oshiomhole, Nasir el-Rufai, and Shehu Sani, who have been vocal about the necessity of making local governments truly independent.

The current system, according to Onuigbo, is marred by the manipulation of local government elections by governors, leading to an imbalance in the electoral process. He argued that entrusting INEC with the responsibility would introduce a competitive spirit and reduce such manipulation.

Moreover, Onuigbo stressed the importance of ensuring true autonomy for local governments, including control over their financial resources. He criticized the practice of governors overseeing a state-local government joint account, which, he claimed, hampers the judicious use of local government funds.

Advocating for increased resources for local governments, Onuigbo highlighted the potential benefits in terms of infrastructure development and the delivery of democracy dividends. He also emphasized the crucial role of local governments in addressing climate change, suggesting that greater resources would enable them to play a more active role in climate change policies and actions.

To encourage local government participation in climate change mitigation efforts, Onuigbo cited the inclusion of the Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) as a member of the National Council on Climate Change. He underscored the importance of inclusive decision-making in combating climate change and ensuring that all stakeholders are involved.

Onuigbo’s call for the transfer of local government elections to INEC and the empowerment of local governments reflects a broader push for institutional reforms aimed at strengthening democracy, enhancing transparency, and addressing pressing issues such as climate change at the grassroots level.

Efecha Gold
Efecha Gold
Multimedia Expert, Journalist, and Singer.


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