LASIEC, stakeholders meet on credible council poll

(Left) The Chairman of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), Hon. Justice Afolabi Abdul-Fatai Adeyinka,

(Left) The Chairman of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), Hon. Justice Afolabi Abdul-Fatai Adeyinka,

The Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) has begun moves towards the conduct of local government election in the 57 council areas in the state, with a forum organised for political stakeholders.

Though, no date has been fixed for the poll, the forum offers opportunity for stakeholders and the commission to interact on issues of the electoral process at the local government level in the state.

The LASIEC chairman, Justice Afolabi Abdul-Fatai Adeyinka assured all the political parties that the commission will continue to operate as an unbiased electoral umpire, adding that it is irrevocably committed to the mission statement of the commission, which is to conduct free, fair and credible elections and to institutionalise sustainable electoral process in the state.

“During one of our stock taking exercises on the last election conducted by the commission, it was realised we could have fared better if certain things had been done.

“For instance, it was discovered that the ad hoc staff engaged then required more training than they were given. The commission has therefore, resolved that ad hoc staff to be used in subsequent elections would be given adequate training so that they could have a better understanding of their duties as election personnel during the conduct of an election by the commission,” he said.

Adeyinka promised that with the capacity building programmes being organised for members of the commission, Electoral Officers and management staff, the commission would be adequately equipped to conduct free, fair and credible elections into the LGs and LCDAs.

In his lecture, the state Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. Abdulhakeem Abdullateef said Nigeria must begin to ensure the entrenchment of a viable opposition structure in its political arrangement, if it is desirous of strengthening democracy, in order to stimulate good governance that will bring about growth and development.

Speaking on the topic titled; “Political Party And Democracy As Panacea To Good Governance And Growth”, he said it has become imperative for political parties in opposition, particularly, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to stem the influx of their members into the ruling party.

He maintained that the dearth of a viable and formidable opposition portends danger for the country’s fledging democracy and national development, adding that the notion of opposition as an integral feature of the political system must not be conceived to be merely dissent, but essential for the sound working of democracy.

“In every popular government, opposition is not only natural but when conducted on liberal principles, it is highly necessary and useful. This remains the only way the quantity and the quality of the opposition can be maintained and sustained, else Nigeria stands the risk of sinking into a one party state conundrum. The PDP may borrow a leaf from the APC on how its tenacity and resilience has been a huge factor in wresting power from the PDP after 16 years.”

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