As part of the programmes designed for the conduct of Councillorship bye-Elections into Ward B ( Ogunoloko ) and also Ward B ( Dopemu ) in Oshodi/ Isolo and Agege Local Governments of Lagos State respectively, the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission ( LASIEC ) has held stakeholders’ fora in the two Wards to interact with stakeholders on the bye- elections.
In her welcome address at the events, the Chairman of the Commission, Hon. Justice Ayotunde Phillips, urged the people in the two Wards to show interest and actively participate in the process of electing people who are deemed competent, dedicated and committed to the service of their people, adding that there would be no excuse for people to complain over lack of effective representation if they failed to elect candidates that would best represent their collective interest and aspirations.
Hon. Justice Phillips whose address was delivered by an Electoral Commissioner of the Commission, Chief ( Mrs.) Toyin Ibrahim- Famakinwa, also pointed out that since the power to decide who would be the new Councillor is primarily derived from their possession of the Permanent Voter Cards and putting the PVCs into use on the day of the bye- elections, all registered eligible voters must arm themselves with their Permanent Voter Cards.
The Chairman also pledged that the Commission would ensure that the elections were free, fair and credible and would guarantee that the people’s votes count and would determine the candidate that would be declared as winner at th Collation Centre in each of the two affected Wards.
While appealing for continued support and cooperation from stakeholders for the peaceful conduct of the bye- elections, Hon. Justice Phillips warned the’’ youth and political thugs to desist from acts that can impede or cast doubt on the integrity of the electoral process and the Commission’’, stressing that the warning became imperative as the Commission had resolved to sanction anybody that might cause a breach of the peace and frustrate the efforts of the Commission towards ensuring hitch-free elections.
One of the stakeholders at the events, the Baale of Dopemu, Alhaji Shitta Afogunlowo, urged the Commission to continue to work hard in maintaining its neutrality as an electoral umpire.
Responding to some of the comments made by stakeholders, a Commissioner of LASIEC, Prof. Tunde Babawale, affirmed the independent status of the Commission, promising that the Commission was resolute in its commitment to the sanctity of its independence and that the Commission would continue to do everything within its power to improve its performance as a leading state Independent Electoral Commission in the country.
Dr. Bunmi Omoseyindemi, the Electoral Commissioner in charge of Agege zone, urged registered voters in the affected Wards to check their names on the register of voters currently on display at designated centres.
Also speaking at the forum held at Dopemu, the Coordinator of the Department of State Service for Agege Local Government, Mrs. Helen Okaette, warned that anybody caught with arms, fighting or causing trouble would not go scot-free.
Also responding to comments made by stakeholders at Ogunoloko Ward, the Divisional Police Officer for Makinde Police Station, Mr. Akinroye Adesina, noted that the police should be notified any time it was observed that somebody was sabotaging the electoral process, promising that the police would act swiftly on such reports.
The bye-elections are as a result of the death of Mr. Olumuyiwa Olusina and Mr. Olayemi Beckley of Ward B ( Ogunoloko ) and Ward B ( Dopemu ) in Oshodi/ Isolo and Agege Local Governments respectively.
Ogunoloko Ward in Oshodi/ Isolo Local Government has 31 Polling Units while Dopemu Ward in Agege Local Government has 28.
Meanwhile, the Commission has announced that the validation of candidates for the election would take place at the Commission’s headquarters on Thursday, 15th March. Accord Party, APC and PDP are contesting in the elections.