ANRP Rejects INEC Approved Order of Elections & Call on all State Houses of Assembly to pass the Local Government Autonomy Bill

Filed under: Political Issues,Press Releases |


The Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), one of the newly licensed political parties, has in this statement rejected in its entirety, the schedule for 2019 elections approved by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and call on all State Houses of Assembly to ensure the passage of the Local Government Autonomy Bill. The statement read:

It has become imperative for our great party to state our position around two very important and connected issues; the recently-released election timetable, and the vexed issue of Local Government autonomy.

We urge the Independent National Electoral Commission to consider the complaints from several quarters and especially young and well-intentioned political parties and voters, to the extent that the order of general elections in the year 2019 be reversed such that State Houses of Assembly and Governorship elections are held on the 16th of February, 2019, while the Presidential and National Assembly Elections are held on the 2nd of March, 2019.

Stakeholders who have had cause to call for this reversal have noted that having the ‘big’ election first could lead to a natural consolidation of positions and power and total control of the lower level elections, no matter who wins those elections. As scheduled, the order of elections give too much leeway to the established parties and is therefore unfair to especially newly-established parties, some of whom were in the process of obtaining their certificates for more than a year and are now required to get ready for all elections within a very short period of time. The concern is borne out of the fact that elections at the lower level are seen as mere fait accompli once the matter of presidency has been sorted. Indeed, Nigerians often feel coerced to vote to the overall winner’s party rather than THINK about the value which each candidate will be adding. We are therefore all under obligation to ensure our political process is improved.

This also brings up the issue of Local Government Autonomy. All well-meaning Nigerians that we know, are of the opinion that governance has become non-existent at our Local Government and Ward levels in Nigeria, as we have seen a progressive deterioration since 1999 when democracy was restored. As this went on, we also saw how many State Governors have totally hijacked and usurped the powers and finances of the local government level which is deemed to be more connected with the people, while relying on an incomplete and self-serving interpretation of Federalism and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. To that extent, while in the countries we copied our democracy and system of government from; namely the USA, UK, and all of Europe, county (local) governments exist and are vibrant and effective, in Nigeria we have rendered that all-important contact with our long-suffering people, totally ineffectual.

ANRP therefore urge all State Houses of Assembly to ensure the passage of the Local Government Autonomy Bills presently making the rounds, so as to roll back the years of usurpation and neglect. ANRP is ready to support this Bill to its logical conclusion for the sake of Nigeria’s survival. We believe it is also the neglect of the local governments and wards that is responsible for spontaneous violence all over the country, as our poor people now confront each other daily, in the game of survival. This is most unfair and must end. We promise to step up our engagement in this area, in the journey to attain a greater Nigeria