The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) on Monday urged states to strengthen their electoral commissions, to enable them to fulfill their mandate of conducting credible elections at the grassroots.

Mr Shakirudeen Olofin, Publicity Secretary of the Lagos State chapter of the council gave the advice in an interview with the Newsmen in Lagos.
He said the major pitfall to the credible conduct of local government elections was that state electoral commissions did not have all the imperatives to credibly discharge their responsibilities.

Olofin said state electoral commissions were poorly funded and that they lacked other logistics to fulfil their mandates.

He added that state electoral commissions were not independent, as they were being influenced by state governments.

Olofin faulted the Senate for voting for the scrapping of state electoral commissions in the constitution amendment process.

“What we think should be done is to strengthen the state electoral commissions, as well as democracy, especially at the grassroots.

“The state government should properly fund their electoral commissions and provide them with the necessary materials to conduct credible polls,’’ he said.
Olofin also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to live to its billing as an independent umpire in the conduct of elections.
He advised INEC against compromise, saying that doing so would not guarantee free and fair conduct of elections.

The IPAC Publicity Secretary urged groups seeking secession to drop the idea and engage the government peacefully on their grievances.
He urged them to learn from history as most countries recorded violent breakups, from which they were yet to recover till the present moment.
Olofin, however, faulted the current socio- political and economic structure of the country.

He, therefore, urged the government to heed the calls for restructuring and act on the idea, for a better and a more prosperous nation.


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