By Awaal Gata
Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has stressed the need for a synergy between the Commission and State Independent Electoral Com-missions (SIECs) in order to build a stronger democratic foundation for Nigeria.
Jega stated this at an Experience Sharing Conference on Best Practices in Election Management between INEC and SIECs at Kaduna last week.
He said INEC and SIECs were constitutionally established to conduct elections in Nigeria and as such both Election Management Bodies (EMBs) must collaborate in discharging their constitutional responsibilities.
Commending states that had conducted council elections, Jega urged those states that were yet to conduct elections to do so, adding that “we cannot build a democratic foundation without Local Government elections.”
He observed that there were challenges confronting the State Independent Electoral Commissions in carrying out their constitutional mandate but assured that the two EMBs would work together to keep on improving the electoral process.
He said: “The challenges you face are similar to those INEC faces; we will keep working together so that the conduct of elections, whether at local government or National levels, are done in a credible manner.”
He said as the Commission prepared for 2015 general elections, there was need for collaboration between INEC and SIECs adding that, “INEC is putting measures in place to make 2015 elections much better than 2011. We need to strengthen our partnership as we approach 2015.”
Chairman of INEC/SIECs Interactive Committee, Dr. Ishmael Igbani, said the Conference would enable INEC and SIECs share ideas on the impending review of Polling Units by the Commission.