ENetSuD knocks Kwara Governor for planning to push LG election to 2025

  • … passes vote of no confidence on KWSIEC

ENetSuD has carefully studied the proposed amendment bill on the Kwara State Local Government Electrotal Law that was recently sent to the Kwara State House of Assembly (KWHA) by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.

Among many sections proposed for amendments, we are specifically concerned about the intention to amend section 20(1) of the Law. Of course, we are not in full support of some other sections, but they are secondary to section 20(1). We consider the amendment of section 20(1) as a calculated attempt by the Governor to push the conduct of the Local Government election in Kwara State to year 2025, which is intended to be controlling the resources of the 16 LGAs through proxy in the name of the illegal Transition Implementation Committee (TIC) that has been repeatedly sacked by the Courts.

Instead of following Court judgements and do the right thing, the Governor has been buying time to pursue frivolous appeal at the Supreme Court without any diligent prosecution of his case.

In the bill sent to the KWHA, the Governor proposed to change the notice period for Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWSIEC) to conduct Local Government election from 90 days (as contained in the current law) to 360 days (one year).

It will be recalled that in our press statement of 3rd September 2023, we alleged that some government actors are mischievously circulating the idea that KWASIEC needed one-year notice before it could conduct a Local Government election in Kwara State. We insisted that KWSIEC does not need one-year notice of Local Government election.

Following our statement, KWSIEC displayed its lack of independence to the public by refuting the claim that we know to be truly emanating from Government house.

ENetSuD has now been vindicated by the action of the Governor to legalise, through the KWHA, this mischievous plan that KWSIEC earlier refuted.

It is sad to note that despite the rush of KWSIEC to dismiss such undisputable insinuation of one-year notice, the electoral body has done nothing to inform the public of its plan to conduct Local Government election, which is its sole responsibility in the governance of our dear Kwara State. This confirms our previous allegation of abandonment of duty by KWSIEC. The current KWSIEC seems not to be independent and competent to perform the statutory function of conducting free, fair, and credible local government election in the State.

While amendment of a law is not a problem itself, we insist that the proposed amendment of the Kwara State Electoral Law should be put on hold until after the conduct of the Local Government election by KWSIEC. We maintain that the proposed amendment is targeted at the expected local government election that KWSIEC has refused to conduct to satisfy the unlawful act of the Governor. Any attempt to amend the Law to increase the notice period of election to one year is nothing but an attempt to ensure that the Local Government doesn’t take place before year 2025, and this is a fraudulent exploration of the legal instrument to retain illegal TIC in office till year 2025.

A Governor that has disregarded the Law of the land to unlawfully sack democratically-elected Local Government councils and impose illegal Transition Implementation Committee (TIC) in all the 16 LGAs of the State, in flagrant disregard to the Courts on different occasions, has no moral standing to hide under harmozation of state electrotal law with the Federal Government electoral act for his personal agenda.

Again, we pass a ‘vote of no confidence’ on KWSIEC, as it has shown not to be independent of the Kwara State Governor in the discharge of its duty. An electoral body that has been inaugurated since 19th May, 2023 and failed to take any step about conduct of Local Government election where Local Government is not existing in Kwara State at the moment can’t be trusted to know its job.

Lukman Raji, Esq
Director of Legal Services,
Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD),
22nd October, 2023