Tuesday 30 September 2014

Lagos postpones local government elections

The Chairman, Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), Justice Fatai Adeyinka (rtd), yesterday disclosed that due to some constraints, elections into the 20 local government areas and the 37 local council development areas, will not hold this year.

Adeyinka, who came before the lawmakers at yesterday’s plenary session with some other executive members of the commission, explained that the commission had made some recommendations to the state government, which were yet to be approved.

Part of the recommendations, according to him, was the creation of additional wards in the state, which would be done subsequent to the approval of the state government.

Adeyinka explained that the current voters’ register was not updated because it was last used in 2011 and cannot be used again. “We need an updated voters’ register, which is with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and we have requested but INEC is not willing to release it.

“We don’t want to conduct the election with the voters’ register that we have because it does not contain the addresses of electorate. So if we decide to use an old register, we will disenfranchise some voters from performing their right.

“Also, there is the need to create additional polling booths to the ones we have on ground, which is also the responsibility of INEC. Until these constraints are resolved, we won’t be able to conduct elections into the local governments. Definitely, election cannot hold this year,” he added.
Deputy Speaker of the House, Taiwo Kolawole, who presided over the plenary, disclosed that the House cannot allow a vacuum at that tier of government because the tenure of the current chairmen will be coming to an end by next month.
He said: “The LASIEC Chairman has told us that election cannot hold this year because of some constraints. LASIEC does not have the power to create additional polling units and they can’t conduct the election with a register that is not updated so that some people will not be disenfranchised.”
Kolawole however directed the Leader of the House, Ajibayo Adeyeye, representing Kosofe constituency 2, to work with the House Committee on Judiciary, to liaise with the executive arm of the state government and come up with a law that will enable them come up with a position, pending when elections into the state’s 20 LGAs and 37 LCDAs will hold.

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