Confab Recommends University Degree For Key Political Office Holders

The National Conference has agreed that those aspiring to contest for the offices of the president, governors, members of the National Assembly, state Houses of Assembly and local government chairmen, should have a minimum of a university degree.

The delegates also voted in favour of the scrapping of State Independent Electoral Commissions, SIECs.

The conference also agreed that May 29 should be scrapped as Democracy Day while election riggers should be banned from holding elective offices for 10 years.

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The delegates’ thinking, however, contradicts the recommendation of the Committee on Political Parties and Electoral Matters, which suggested that rather than scrapping the SIECs, efforts should be made to strengthen them to make them more effective, as well as improving their credibility.

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The committee also wanted the electoral bodies strengthened by giving them a first line charge in the state’s budget.

The report of the committee, which was chaired by a former senate president, Iyorchia Ayu, also recommended that issues relating to the composition and administration of the SIECs should be activated through a law of the State House of Assembly.

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But delegates while going through the recommendations and amendments of the committee, argued that the state electoral commissions had become a tool of political intimidation in the hands of state governors.

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