20th July, 2011
The Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) on Tuesday announced that it would conduct the state council elections on October 22.
Consequently, the Commission has issued guidelines for the polls to political parties.
According to the LASIEC guidelines for the 2011 council polls, electioneering campaigns were expected to kick off by July 21 and end on October 20.
The guidelines also stipulated that participating parties should give the commission 21 days notice before the conduct of their party primaries.
Similarly all nomination forms for candidates must be returned not later than Friday, September 9.
Speaking at a meeting held with political parties in the state on presentation of the electoral guidelines at the Commission’s office in Yaba, LASIEC Chairman, Justice Afolabi Adeyinka (retd.) announced that elections would be conducted in the 20 local government and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDA) of the state.
Adeyinka explained that despite the controversies surrounding the conduct of elections in the LCDAs, the Commission would do so based on the Supreme Courtâ€™s ruling empowering states to create Councils.
“We are not set up to deal with what the law ought to be but what the law is,” the LASIEC Chairman said.
He explained that the meeting was scheduled to interact with stakeholders and brainstorm on the guidelines.
Adeyinka pledged to conduct free, fair and credible elections but urged all stakeholders to assist in mobilizing the electorate, which he said would reduce voters’ apathy to the barest minimum.
Speaking with newsmen after the meeting, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, a former governor of Lagos said that “holding the election in the LCDAâ€™s would be determined by the law.
“The earlier everybody knows where we stand on the matter, the better for all.”
Reacting to the meeting, the Lagos State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Setonji Kosheodo lamented that the LASIEC was bent on conducting elections into the 37 LCDAs.
Kosheodo reiterated that it was illegal to conduct elections into LCDAs which were yet to be recognized as local government areas as stipulated in the constitution.