27th July, 2011
Some political parties in Lagos State on Tuesday urged the State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) to adopt the open ballot system for the October 22 council polls.
The parties said the open ballot system was largely responsible for the success of the nationâ€™s April 2011 general elections.
Chief Adeniji Oloye, Lagos State Chairman, National Action Council (NAC), told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that NAC was sure of winning some seats in at least 20 local governments, if LASIEC could adopt open ballot.
NAN recalls that LASIEC had issued guidelines for the council polls with electioneering scheduled to kick off by July 21 and end on Oct. 20.
â€œIf LASIEC wants a level playing field for all the political parties, it should allow a time lag like INEC did, where a voter comes, gets accredited and waits.
â€œThe total number of accredited voters are made known and then voting starts at a certain time,â€ Oloye said.
He, however, called on the state government to provide the necessary logistics for the security personnel that would be deployed for the election.
â€œLASIEC has complained that it lacks the security personnel to do the job.
â€œWe are appealing to the state government and the police for their support because we believe what is good for one is good for the other.
â€œThe elections should be seen to be transparent, free, fair and credible,â€ Oloye said.
The State Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Mr. Adeshina Olayokun also told NAN that the open ballot system should be adopted by LASIEC.
â€œWith the system, we are confident of win seats in at least two local governments.
â€œIf LASIEC will conduct â€˜one man, one voteâ€™, we believe we will have at least a councillor and a chairman in those areas that we are strong,â€ he said.
However, Alhaji Jamiu Ololade, a chieftain of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), criticised LASIEC for what he called shoddy arrangements for previous council polls.
â€œWe do not like how the commission conducted past elections in the state; ANPP may not field any candidate for the elections.
â€œWe are not going to waste our time and money to field any candidate because we know it is going to be a one-party affair.
â€œWe consider that very unhealthy for politics in Lagos State and in the country at large,â€ he said.