By OLASUNKANMI AKONI
Lagos —ABOUT 30,000 security agents incuding 20,000 policemen have been drafted to provide security during today’s local government election in Lagos State. This was disclosed by the State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC.
LASIEC also said that 5,000 candidates are contesting the chairmanship, vice- chairmanship and councillorship positions available in all the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs comprising of 376 wards that would have 28 political parties participating.
Chairman of LASIEC, Justice Abdulfatai Adeyinka disclosed this yesterday at a media conference on the preparations of the commission and assured electorate and residents of a transparent process.
Adeyinka, who said that voting would take place in 8,645 polling units across the state, stressed that the security outfits had been well mobilised for the polls.
According to him: “A security committee headed by the Commissioner of Police has been constituted with other members drawn from LASIEC, the Civil Defence, State Security Service SSS, Community Development Associations and other security agencies within the state.”
He said the commission has engaged the services of about 32,000 ad hoc staff and that materials for the exercise have since been dispatched to various areas believed to be difficult to reach prior to allow for early commencement of the exercise scheduled to start 7 am and end by 4pm.
He said: “We have since moved non-sensitive materials to Riverine areas of the state, we have bought live jackets and boats for use by our officials during the polls. I must say that it remains just one material which we hope to dispatch later today.”
Justifying the number of personnel being deployed, Adeyinka said his commission envisaged a large turnout saying 6.2 million registered voters are expected to vote as against the 4 million recorded in 2008.
While stating that voting would be conducted using the open-secret-open mode, wherein, the accreditation, and voting will take place simultaneously, Adeyinka said his commission has accredited the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC staff to lead 18 other organisations both local and international as observers for the monitoring of today’s polls across the state.
He however, urged Lagos residents and electorate to be orderly by obeying all the rules and regulations guiding the exercise saying anyone caught in the act of indiscipline would be dealt with accordingly.
He said: “I urge Lagosians to come out en-masse to participate and vote for leaders of their choice. The political parties and the electorate should shun violence, thuggery and behaviours that could mar the elections.”
Meanwhile, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state has urged residents of the state to troop out em-mass today and cast their vote, saying “this is your civic responsibility.”
Fashola gave the advice at the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Lagos chapter rally held at Mile 2 ground, Amuwo-Odofin for Badagry division of the party.
The governor said “If you cast your vote on Saturday for the candidate you believe can deliver, the very best of this country is yet to come.”
According to him, “This is the election that decides which party and candidate will be representing the electorate at the council level.”
He noted that movement of human and vehicle would be restricted from 7am to 3pm while voting process will commence on from 8am, however, urge the “residents to endeavour to wait at the area where they registered during the registration exercise.”
Speaking earlier, the party chairman, Mr. Henry Ajomale debunked the rumour making the rounds that ACN has stationed its members in the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) in order to manipulate election result.
Ajomale vowed that ACN will never engage in such unethical act, saying “No single member of ACN is a member of the LASIEC