8th June, 2010
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has cried out over perceived continuous cheating of Lagos State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the area of representation in the Federal Constituency.
Fashola spoke on Monday at a Stakeholdersâ€™ Forum on the Delineation of Wards and Creation of additional Polling Units in Lagos State, Nigeria, organised by the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC.
According to Fashola, empirical evidence abounded that Lagos was grossly being short changed in the areas of numbers of Federal Constituencies and related representations.
He lamented that INEC purportedly gave Lagos 4.2 million figure as the number of voters who registered, saying that the figure was far from the reality on ground.
â€œFor LASIEC to have taken the bull by the horn in the area of representations at the Local Council level, it is a welcome development.Â Â LASIEC is commended for the bold step and initiative to embark on the delineation of wards and creation of additional polling units in Lagos State if only to achieve credible representation at the grassroots.
â€œThe exercise must however be carried out with all seriousness and sense of purpose with a view to making Lagos State the centre of excellence both in words and in deed,â€ he said.
The governor stated that there was the need to strive to sustain democratic rule at all tiers of government through entrenchment of democratic ethos, principles, values and awakening of the political consciousness of the people.
He added that â€œwe must also ensure that they are actively involved in the management of the affairs of the state. It is by so doing that we can achieve the Lagos of our dream and a better nation for ourselves as well as for generations yet unborn such as the dreams and effort of the founding fathers do not go down the drain.â€
The governor emphasised that the proposed delineation of wards and creation of additional polling units was not only necessary but timely; saying that governmentâ€™s effort at the state level must be supported at the grassroots.
â€œThere cannotÂ be effective leaders without credible elections and credible elections will remain a mirage without an electoral framework that encourages active participation of people in decision making both in the choice of those who represent them as well as actual engagement in governance,â€ he added.
Chairman, LASIEC, Justice Afolabi Adeyinka said the responsibility of conducting, regulating and ascertaining smooth, free and credible Local Government elections in the state, adding that it is empowered to delineate wards and create additional polling units in Lagos State by the constitution.
Adeyinka said that LASIECâ€™s field officers conducted a feasibility study of the terrain, contiguity and geographical peculiarity of each Local Government and Local Council Development Area and reported that if thorough and effective review of the wards and polling units were to be properly carried out, an average of four days per local government would be required.
According to him, the commission would carry out the outcome of this stakeholdersâ€™ forum to the grassroots from 21 June, 2010 commencing from Badagry and ending the exercise in Mushin on 4 November, 2010.