By Henry Tyohemba
A pro-democracy group, United Foundation for Survival and Sustainability, has implored the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) not to conduct elections into the 37 additionally created local government councils between April 21 to July 22, 2021.
In a statement signed by its chairman, Otunba Ahmed Adekunle, the group warned that “any deviation from this advice will be legally challenged completely” in the court.
It maintained that the electoral body only has the right to conduct election into the constitutionally designated 20 local government councils and not the 37 local council development areas as allowed by law.
In a statement titled, “LASIEC Must Respect Federal Constitution and the Supreme Court Ruling,” it called on the state government to listen to the voice of rationality and desist from the obviously tele-guided agenda and save the nation needless distress.
The statement reads in part, “Should LASIEC stick to its guns and go ahead to conduct elections as stated in its time table, that would amount to administrative arrogance and rascality which is not needed at this time the nation is facing some security challenges.
“LASIEC should brave the odds and uphold the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not give the impression that they are being teleguided from certain quarters.
Should they refuse to heed the position of the law, they would be opening the grounds for that very interpretation; the State being multi-diverse and ethnic does not need this aberration at this time of our national existence.
“Right now, LASIEC is unfortunately giving the impression that this is the case between the “horse and the horse rider”—a shadowy piper dictating the tune of events! Some hideous forces who are bent on perpetuating their hold on power and feeding fat on the State treasury!
“We need not remind LASIEC that Lagos State is multi-diverse and ethnic with several other political parties involved. Did LASIEC consult with other political parties outside the All-Progressive Congress before releasing this time table? These are pertinent questions to be addressed before embarking on such a heavy democratic enterprise.”
The group further noted that the people of Lagos State deserve a free and unfettered access to determine their fate, pointing out that “it is wrong for any organization to continue to arrogate to themselves the powers and authority of legal instruments like LASIEC.”
Adekunle continued: “The people want structures that are sustainable and can discharge its functions to the improvement of their welfare, security and safety—not a motley group of people trying to commandeer every opportunity to foster good governance for their selfish interest
“We state unequivocally here that LASIEC must toe the path of responsibility and save the State from forces bent on using undemocratic procedures to enthrone charlatans and consolidate their grip on the reins of governance.
“Any deviation from this advice will be legally challenged completely. Lagos State is too strategic to be allowed to drift endlessly without a check. If anything, this is the time to do that. Proper elections must henceforth be conducted within stipulated time and areas.”
Adekunle further said if the state electoral umpire proceeds with the election, it would be tantamount to violation of the provisions of section 3(6) 7 and the first schedule Part 1 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Amended, adding that the move will also be interpreted as disobedience to the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Lagos State is too strategic to be allowed to drift endlessly without a check. If anything, this is the time to do that. Proper elections must henceforth be conducted within stipulated time and areas,” he noted.