The Nation (Nigeria)
Lagos council poll: LASIEC boss warns miscreants
•’Steer clear of designated voting points or prepare to go to jail’
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.