The Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) has announced that it would conduct elections into the 57 Local Governments/Local Council Development Areas of the State on Saturday, 22nd July, 2017 while run-off/re-run elections would be conducted on Saturday, 29th July, 2017.
This was contained in a Notice of Election signed by the Chairman of the Commission, Hon. Justice Ayotunde Philips, on Friday 7th April, 2017.
According to the Notice, the Commission would meet with Political Parties on Tuesday 13th April, 2017; Election Guidelines is expected to be released by the Commission on Friday, 14th April, 2017.
The Notice stated further that political campaigns by political parties would commence on Saturday, 15th April and end on Thursday 20th July, 2017 while collection of nomination forms by political parties would begin on Tuesday 18th April, 2017 and end on Friday, 19th May, 2017. Nomination forms are expected to be submitted to the Commission by Political Parties between Wednesday, 19th April and Monday 22nd May, 2017.
It added that conduct of primary elections by political parties which must be observed by the Commission would take place between Monday, 17th April, and Thursday, 18th May, 2017.
The Notice stated further that there would be a display of the names of nominated candidates and persons nominating them at the headquarters of their Local Governments or Local Council Development Areas (for Chairmanship Candidates) and at the Ward Collation Centres (for Councillorship Candidates) on Friday 26th, May, 2017. The Commission also disclosed that it would embark on the display of the Register of Voters for the elections at Ward Collation Centres on Saturday, 17th June, 2017.
With the release of the Notice of Election by the Commission, it is expected that political activities will rise considerably at the Local Government level of the State.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Commission, Hon. Justice Ayotunde Phillips, has also appealed to eligible voters who are yet to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to do so to enable them actively participate in the elections.
Hon. Justice Phillips made the appeal while speaking at the opening ceremony of a five-day Bridge Election Professional Development Training organised by the Commission in collaboration with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) for the Chairman, Commissioners, Permanent Secretary and Senior Staff of the Commission.
While commending IFES on capacity development for the personnel of the Commission, the Chairman charged participants to seize the opportunity offered by the training programme to further equip themselves with the knowledge and skills required for the conduct of credible elections into the Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas of Lagos State.
She expressed the commitment of the Commission to regular training and retraining of all its election personnel so as to keep them up to date with the changing dynamics in electoral processes, both domestically and internationally.
The Chairman also pledged the determination of the Commission to strive to meet the legitimate expectations of the people of the State for hitch-free, credible and successful elections into the Local Governments/Local Council Development Areas of the State.
Hon. Justice Phillips also acknowledged the support given to the Commission by the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode which she said has put the Commission in a good stead to effectively discharge its responsibilities as an independent electoral umpire at the Local Government level in the State.
She also commended the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and its sponsors for their unrelenting support towards the capacity building of the staff of the Commission in election administration, management and international best practices. The five-day course will end on Wednesday, 12th April, 2017.