7th September, 2010
The Lagos State office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has allayedÂ the fear of opposition parties in the state that the location of some of its offices in aÂ number of council secretariats would affect free and fair conduct of the coming elections.
The clarification came on the heels of complaints by some parties that the commission’sÂ offices ought to be moved out of the council secretariats to avoid being compromised by theÂ ruling party in the state.
They alleged that currently 14 out of the 20 INEC-recognised local government areas in theÂ state host its offices while the other six are located outside the councils.
Adekunle Ogunmola, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC),stated in an interview withÂ P.M.NEWS on Thursday said that only 11 out of its 20 offices are located within councilÂ complexes while the other nine are in the INEC prototype offices across the state. HeÂ explained that there was plan to move the offices out of council secretariats but that couldÂ only be possible after the election.
According to him, the focus for now is on how to handle matters of urgent importance such asÂ voter register so as to have credible elections. â€œThere is plan to relocate the offices butÂ it will not be immediately because it is not easy to move overnight but the chairman isÂ seriously working on that; he is the one that will approach the government.
â€œIt is not possible to move before the elections,â€ he stated.
He, however, assured that no local government staff would be engaged during the elections,Â rather the commission would use members of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC), staffÂ of federal establishments in the state and members of the academia among others that couldÂ be easily known and verified.