Just as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is on the first line charge to the Consolidated Revenue Account, State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) should also be placed on first line revenue charge at the state level to ensure its independence, financial autonomy and security of tenure as a functional Election Management Bodies (EMBs) in Nigeria.
These were fallouts from a National Consultative Retreat held between INEC and SIECs on November 17, 2011, at the Nike Lake Resort, Enugu, with support from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).
A communique adopted at the end of the retreat resolved that SIECs and INEC will work with relevant legislative bodies to harmonise the legal framework guiding EMBs to ensure SIECs financial autonomy.
While INEC conducts elections in all the states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), SIECs would conduct local government elections in all the 36 states except the FCT. SIECs would equally use the Voters’ Register generated by INEC to conduct their elections.
Also, the communique pushed for the immediate dissolution of sole administrators and caretaker committees in local government councils were they operate. In its place, the document clamoured for immediate local government council polls in areas affected.
“Local government councils, as the tier of government closest to the people, must be democratically elected as provided by the Constitution. Therefore, sole administrators and caretaker committees have no place in our system of local government.