IPAC Wants Independent Body To Appoint INEC Chairman

Mourinho

The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) national chairman, Alhaji Yusuf Mamman Dantalle has advocated for an independent body to appoint the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, national commissioners and resident electoral commissioners.

He made the call at the public presentation of the book, Electoral Management Bodies in Nigeria since 1958, by the Electoral Hub, held in Abuja.

He said this would move the powers of appointment from the President to a neutral body subject to confirmation by the Senate, adding that it is inappropriate for the President who participates in an election to appoint its umpire.

Speaking further he said election is at the heart of democracy and the beauty of the electoral process, adding that it is obvious that there can be elections without democracy but there cannot be democracy without elections.

“Because election is the live wire of any democracy and the ballot is sacrosanct as power resides in the people for smooth political succession, the need for a neutral, non-partisan, independent, unbiased and impartial election management body to conduct free, fair, credible, transparent, inclusive and peaceful elections that will deepen the democratic process cannot be overemphasized. The integrity, quality, credibility and acceptability of elections are directly related to the expertise, capability and competency of the electoral body that conducted them,” he said.

“Cognizant of the roles of political parties in consolidating and deepening our democracy, ensuring an environment conducive for successful elections, political stability, and overall well-being of Nigerians, IPAC, as the umbrella body of all registered political parties in Nigeria will continue to partner with the Independent National Electoral Commission and other stakeholders in advancing our constitutional governance,” he added.

He agreed with the recent statement by INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu that elections conducted by the State Independent Electoral Commissions were mere coronation of the candidates of the ruling political parties, saying that it is in tandem with the position of IPAC that the charade called elections by SIECs were a mockery of the nation’s democracy.

 

He noted that accordingly, the Council has demanded the scrapping of the State Independent Electoral Commissions which have impeded democracy at the third tier of government, adding that politics is local, and citizens should be encouraged to actively participate in grassroots politics that guarantees free, fair and credible Local Government elections.

 

Dantalle who is also national chairman of Allied People’s Movement (APM) said that it was in view of this that IPAC demands Local Government autonomy, adding that INEC must be strengthened to discharge its statutory duties and be truly independent to conduct credible elections.

 

“With 25 years of uninterrupted democracy in Nigeria, all hands should be on deck in building a strong, united, progressive, equitable and decent democratic society,” he said.

 

He said that IPAC has been engaging leaders of political parties on the need to practise internal democracy and adhere strictly to their parties’ constitutions particularly in nominating candidates for elections, change of leadership and accountability. “We must provide exemplary, transparent and credible leadership in political party administration, and call elected public officers to order if they deviate from the manifesto of their respective party. It is time to sanitise our political process,” he added.

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