Yiaga Africa’s Position on the Calls to Scrap SIECs

Yiaga Africa has observed increasing calls for the abolition of State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIEC) and the transfer of the responsibility of conducting local government elections to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). This policy proposal is fundamentally flawed and would have far-reaching implications for Nigeria’s 25-year-democracy if implemented. First, it will overstretch an overburdened INEC leading to poorly conducted local elections. Second, it undermines the autonomy of states guaranteed in the Constitution, potentially leading to an overconcentration of power in the Federal government. Thirdly, it weakens local democracy and citizens participation as local communities will be stripped of the opportunity to participate in decision-making.