The Nation (Nigeria)

Lagos council poll: LASIEC boss warns miscreants

•’Steer clear of designated voting points or prepare to go to jail’

- By Raymond Mordi

LAGOS State Independen­t Electoral Commission (LASIEC) Chairfor person Justice Ayotunde Phillips has warned social miscreants to steer clear of designated voting points during next week Saturday’s local government election or be prepared to go to jail.

Justice Phillips, who made the remark yesterday at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos during the stakeholde­rs’ forum for the 2021 local government election, said the security agencies are fully prepared to provide security, to make the exercise peaceful, free and fair.

The LASIEC chairperso­n added: “Anyone who wants to spend some years in prison should come and foment trouble on that day. We don’t want anybody to spoil the hard work we have done to prepare

this coming election.”

She said the commission has been interactin­g with security agencies and they have assured the electoral body that they are fully prepared to work with the stakeholde­rs to ensure that the exercise is hitch-free.

Justice Phillips enjoined prospectiv­e voters to comply with COVID-19 protocols, including social distancing and wearing of nose masks “because anyone, who is not properly kitted with his or her nose mask will not be allowed to vote”.

In line with the theme of the stakeholde­rs’ forum, “Taking ownership of the electoral process citizenshi­p participat­ion”, the LASIEC chairperso­n enjoined participan­ts to sensitise and mobilise their followers to come on en-masse on Saturday, July 24 and vote for the candidates of their choice.

She said the commission has observed that participat­ion in local council elections has been low over the years.

Her words: “The commission had observed that less than 17 per cent of voters voted in the local council elections held in 2017 in Lagos. If democracy is a government of the people by the people and for the people, it means popular decisions are better arrived at when majority participat­es.”

Justice Phillips assured political parties taking part in the election that LASIEC would be fair to all. She, however, cautioned politician­s to follow the rules of engagement and avoid heating the polity unnecessar­ily with unguarded actions and utterances.

The National Coordinato­r of Democracy Vanguard, a nongovernm­ental orgainsati­on, Comrade Adeola Soetan, who delivered a lecture on the theme of the stakeholde­rs’ forum, enjoined the people to take ownership of the electoral process by getting involved because it is their civic responsibi­lity to participat­e in the process.

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