The Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Mike Igini, has described elections conducted by State Independent Electoral Commissions as ‘rape of democracy’.
Igini, who expressed his dismay in a Television Continental programme monitored on Thursday, said council elections, which ought to be the foundation of all elections in the country, had been rubbished by SIECs.
“All the local government elections conducted so far are mere rape of democracy. You cannot refer to the conduct of local government elections in states as elections because we have degenerated to the level where SIECs no long print ballot papers, what they print are result sheets.
“On election day, you will hear the announcement that the ruling party in the state has won the LG election 100 per cent. It is only in the INEC-conducted election that you see a reflection of the multi-party system that we operate in the country. This is a huge indictment on SIECs.
“I have interacted with some of the SIECs, the problem is that the body is not independent, it is the state governors that determine what happens. One of them even told me that his governor cancelled the conduct of local government election because he was out of the country. It cannot happen under INEC,” he said.
He flayed SIECs for failing to make use of Smart Card Readers despite getting voter registers from the Independent National Electoral Commission for the conduct of elections.
Igini noted that INEC’s obligation to SIECs during the conduct of council elections is to provide voter registers, adding that SIECs were not interested in the use of smart card readers because of manipulation.
“Our obligation to SIECs is to provide the voter registers and the electorate are allowed to use the Permanent Voter Cards. But we felt that one thing that should be of interest to Nigerians is that SIECs should have been using the smart card readers to bring sanity.
“Do you know that as we speak, no SIEC wants to get close to the card reader. This is because the idea behind the card reader is to ensure one person, one vote and no proxy user. The credibility of any election starts with the voter register,” he said.