The national chairman of the Labour Party, Barrister Julius Abure has condemned Saturday’s Local Government election held in Edo State by the State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC), describing it as another sad testimony of how a state government can descend so low in attempting to rubbish the gains of democracy.
A statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, quoted Abure as saying that democracy can only succeed when the authorities allow the votes of the people to count and the choice of the voters respected.
The statement read in part, “Reports from our agents across most of the polling units in the state confirmed that there were deliberate effort by the EDSIEC to frustrate voters by ensuring that the electoral officers either came late to the polling units or didn’t show up at all. In few places where the election held, insufficient ballot papers were brought with no single result sheet. But at the end of the day, results were churned out with the candidates of the People’s Democratic Party returning elected.
“Before the election, credible information reached us that the state government had no intention of conducting any election, let alone a credible one. The EDSIEC we gathered simply took instructions from the government house and announced an already prepared list as winners of the election.
“Edo people and Nigerians deserve the best to represent them in government. What happened in Edo state was a mockery of democracy and such must not be allowed to stand. We therefore call on the state government to also condemn the charade that happened on Saturday, denounce the outcome and call for a fresh and credible election.
“State Independent Electoral Commissions across Nigeria have failed to help democracy grow. They are purely appendages of the states government and there is nothing independent in them.
We therefore call on the national assembly to scrap the commission and entrust the conduct of the local government elections on the Independent National Electoral Commission for proper management. State Independent Electoral Commission has become an embarrassment to democracy in Nigeria. It is therefore time to scrap them so as to restore sanity in our grassroot politics.