The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State says it has received an appeal from the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) to shift the proposed date for the bye-election in Eti-Osa 1 constituency by two weeks.
Mr Femi Akinbiyi, the Head of Public Affairs of INEC in the state, spoke with newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday.
He said that the state chapter of IPAC had appealed for a shift from the proposed Sept. 16 date to Sept. 30, to give parties time for adequate preparation.
Dr Mudashiru Mustapha, INEC Administrative Secretary in Lagos State, had on Friday announced Sept. 16 as the proposed date for the bye-election to fill the Eti-Osa Constituency I seat in the Lagos State House of Assembly.
He told stakeholders at a meeting that the date was still tentative, but would still need to be approved by the INEC headquarters in Abuja.
Some party leaders at the meeting had, however, expressed reservation about the date.
Mr Kola Ajayi, State Chairman, IPAC, had urged the commission to give the council 24 hours to mobilise all the political parties and discuss the proposed date.
Giving NAN an update on Wednesday, Akinbiyi said: “The umbrella body of political parties in Lagos State, the Inter Party Advisory Council met and chose Sept 30 for the bye election.
“Leaders of political parties then begged for more time and called for a shift from Sept 16 to Sept 30, stressing that they just finished a local government election in the state.
“They appealed to the commission for more time to be able to sensitise and mobilise their people ahead of the election.
“Consequently, we have sent their proposed date, Sept. 30, to the headquarters office of our commission in Abuja for approval. Once it is approved, it will become the authentic date.”
According to him, the appeal notwithstanding, the commission has commenced preparation toward conducting a free, fair, credible and hitch-free bye-election.
He said that once the INEC headquarters gave the final approval, the timetable would be rolled out for the political parties.
Akinbiyi said that the commission would continue to provide a level playing field for all political parties that would want to participate in the election.
NAN reports that the bye-election is coming up following the death on July 18 of Mr Kazeem Alimi of the All Progressives Congress who occupied the seat.