Residents of Lagos has been assured by the Chairman, Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission ( LASIEC ), Justice Ayotunde Phillips (Rtd), that the Commission would organise a free and fair election and will not rob any candidate of his or her people-given mandate and give it to another person in the forthcoming elections into the 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas of the State on July 22, 2017.
This statement was made at a media forum organized by the Commission at the weekend at the conference room of the Commission in Yaba, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
The Chairman described allegations accusing the Commission of conniving with some leaders of some political parties to manipulate the primaries of some parties and selection of candidates for the elections as published in some media as the handiwork of some disgruntled politicians whose desire was to discredit the Commission and the on-going electoral process, adding that the responsibility of selecting candidates rested solely with political parties while the Commission was bound by law to accept the lists presented to it by the parties.
She further pointed out that the Commission, under her leadership strongly believed in the rule of law and due process and would not, therefore, under any guise, interfere in the internal affairs of any of the political parties.
Phillips also noted that the Commission would make all efforts that would ensure mass participation in the July 22, 2017 elections being planned by the Commission, stressing that the Commission was irrevocably committed to the entrenchment of democratic norms and ideals in the electoral process at the Local Government level of the State.
The Chairman also promised that the Commission would do everything possible to ensure that the elections were conducted peacefully, pointing out that the Commission had received the assurance of the police, army, navy, the Department of State Service and other security agencies in the State for the maintenance of security before, during and after the elections.
She, therefore, warned that anybody who conducted him or herself in manners likely to cause a breach of peace would be sanctioned in accordance with the provisions of the law.
While commending the media for their support towards the Commission and its programmes, Phillips charged media practitioners to further assist the Commission in mobilizing the electorate and stabilizing the electoral process, particularly at the Local Government level of the State.
The Chairman also urged media practitioners to be professional and patriotic in their reportage of the activities of political parties and their candidates to ensure societal harmony and peaceful conduct of the forthcoming elections, warning that journalists must not allow desperate politicians to use them for selfish motives of causing avoidable conflicts among the people.
She also appealed to the media to continue to be guided by truth, objectivity and ensure a balance in the reportage of their stories and analysis of reports.
Meanwhile, the Commission has also commenced the validation of the candidates seeking election into the Chairmanship and Councillorship seats in the 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas of the State as part of the programmes for the July 22, 2017 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas of the State.
The validation exercise which started on Wednesday with the candidates of the Labour Party appearing before the Commission with their relevant documents would end next week. The exercise affords the Commission to confirm the level of compliance to its guidelines by candidates of the political parties.
Source: ( PM News )