Council Election To Wait Till July
There Is No Date Yet-LASIEC
INDICATIONS have emerged that the much-awaited Lagos State Local Government election may have to wait till July, when the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would have successfully put its house in order.
This would lay to rest the rumour making round that the Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration is secretly planning to conduct the poll in the next two months, to catch other political parties unaware.
The National Secretary of the National Conscience Party (NCP), Comrade Ayodele Akele, in an exclusive interview with The Guardian few weeks ago, said the APC-led government “is killing time and surreptitiously doing everything possible to conduct the election in the next two months.”
Though the APC aspirants and other political parties have intensified their campaigns, with posters flooding nooks and crannies of the state, coupled with ward-to-ward tours, our source revealed that there is no guideline yet from the party or the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) on any date.
The news is an indication that the Executive Secretaries, overseeing the affairs of the 20 local governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) for over a year, would continue in office, despite the ruling of a High Court, which described their composition as illegal and unconstitutional.
Recall that Justice Abdulfatai Lawal of the Lagos High Court, on October 23, 2015, while delivering judgment in a suit filed by NCP against the state and LASIEC, ordered for council election to hold within 30 days. He also ordered the dismantling of the caretaker committees in the 57 councils, declaring such system as illegal and unconstitutional.
But the state government appealed against the judgement, which it won.
According to our source, who is also an aspirant, the pasting of posters is just the aspirants’ attempt to create awareness, as there are no guidelines yet on the process, not to talk of conducting the primary election.
“Ambode is trying to study the situation, to ensure that the party is able to influence the people at the grassroots, for landslide victory at the poll. Before we can talk about election, that’ll be in the second quarter of the year, let us say July,” the source said.
However, LASIEC has disclosed that there is no date or any preparation yet. A top official of the commission, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The Guardian that the new thing at the commission’s headquarters is the resumption of a new Permanent secretary, noting that the former Permanent Secretary has retired.
He noted that since the man is yet to resume duty, he might not be able to say anything on the poll.
It should be noted that the last election that ushered in the council officials, whose tenure expired on October 29, 2014 was held on October 21, 2011. Since January 2015, executive secretaries have taken over the affairs of the councils.