LASIEC to conduct by-election in Surulere, April 27

LASIEC

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The Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission ( LASIEC ) has revealed that it would conduct Councillorship by-election into Ward A ( Obele/Oniwala ) in Surulere Local Government Area of the State on Saturday, 27th April, 2019.

The Chairman of the Commission, Hon. Justice Ayotunde Phillips, stated this in an address delivered at a forum organised by the Commission for election  stakeholders in the affected ward.

The Chairman, whose address at the event was delivered by Mrs Toyin Ibrahim- Famakinwa, an Electoral Commissioner of the Commission, further pointed out that the by-election was being planned by the Commission to fill the Councillorship seat which became vacant following the demise of the former occupant of the seat, Hon. Razak Bello.

While praying for the repose of the deceased Councillor, Phillips noted that the decision of the Commission to conduct the by-election was in conformity with the law setting up LASIEC, adding that “the election would have been conducted earlier, but for the conduct of the general elections which had engaged the attention of stakeholders for some time”.

The Chairman promised that the Commission would ensure that the conduct of the  by-election was free and  fair to all political parties and their candidates.

Phillips, however, expressed concern over “the progressive decline in voter turn-out during elections” conducted at the local, state and national levels in the country, pointing out that the trend was unacceptable to the Commission.

She, therefore, pledged that the Commission would “intensify efforts and adopt new strategies towards sensitizing and mobilizing eligible voters for more effective participation in the electoral process, particularly at the Local Government level of Lagos State”.

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While acknowledging the efforts of political parties in sensitizing the public on elections, Hon. Justice Phillips stressed that political parties must do much more to complement the efforts of the Commission towards eliminating voter apathy and enhancing voter participation in the electoral process.

The Chairman disclosed that the Commission was working in synergy with the relevant security personnel, particularly the police and the Department State Service (DSS) to ensure peaceful conduct of the by-election, warning that anybody found instigating violence or attempting to cause  disruption of the electoral process  would be arrested and prosecuted.

Phillips also urged political parties to adhere to the provisions of the Guidelines issued by the Commission on the bye-election, adding that the programmes were time-bound and would be strictly adhered to.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Electoral Commissioner of the Commission for the zone, Hon. Olusegun Ayedun, stated that forms for participation in the bye-election would be available for collection between tomorrow, Thursday  11th and Friday, 12th April, 2019 at the headquarters of the Commission in Sabo, Yaba, Lagos. He further disclosed that the forms must be returned to the Commission not later than Monday, 15th April, 2019.

Speaking on behalf of other senior security personnel present at the event, the Divisional Police Officer for Surulere, Mr. Jimoh Jabaje, assured the Commission that security personnel would collaborate with the Commission to ensure peaceful conduct of the bye-election, noting that residents of Obele/ Oniwala were peaceful people.

Other Electoral Commissioners of the Commission also present at the ceremony were Dr. Bunmi Omosehindemi, Prof. Tunde Babawale and Dr. Noah Lawal- Jinadu.

Meanwhile, the Commission had, on Tuesday, visited the Baale of Surulere, High Chief Jimoh Awoyemi in his palace to solicit his support towards the peaceful conduct of the bye-election. Chief Awoyemi was also one of the dignitaries that attended the stakeholders’ forum held today.