Nigeria electoral body official equates local elections to organised crimes
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) commissioner has equated the elections into local government councils conducted by state governments to organised crimes.
According to the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Akwa Ibom State, Mike Igini, interference in the election at the grassroots has continued to impact negatively on the conduct of elections in the country.
“Look at the local government system in Nigeria. We have lost 774 local governments in Nigeria to governors of the 36 states in Nigeria.
“Local government elections are nothing but organised crime. They should not be calling them elections at all.
“They are nothing but coronation ceremony that we have across Nigeria and Nigerians are not doing anything about it; that you have lost your LG, that there is no democracy taking place there – because what constitutes free, fair and credible elections with respect to INEC-conducted election is different from the local government,” Igini said.
He, however, said that INEC has made remarkable progress in the conduct of elections even though it is not where it ought to be.
According to him, the deployment of the INEC election results portal, the Nigerian media will soon start projecting election results like their counterparts in the United States.
He said the use of public viewing portal used during the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states removed possible electoral fraud as Nigerians saw the results of each polling unit online almost immediately after casting their votes.
“I can confirm that INEC has made tremendous progress. The INEC of today is no longer the INEC of before because, since 2011, the kind of elections that we have conducted had a remarkable departure from where we used to be even though we are not where we are supposed to be,” he said.
“The INEC public viewing portal is a new innovation to deal with the recurring issues of vote changes and that was why it was introduced at the level of collation to ensure that at the polling unit once result is declared it should be sent to the viewing portal so that Nigerans can see it.
“The way we are going… I am very sure not too far from now, it is not INEC that will have to declare results, we will publicise result… that is, where we could do what the CNN do in America by making progressions. That is where we are going.”