Growing threats to 2023 polls

• LASIEC assures of credible exercise

• As UK envoy calls for peaceful poll

By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Godwin Oritse

AHEAD of the local government elections billed for tomorrow, Lagos State Government, yesterday, announced seven hours restriction of movement across the state.

This came on a day the United Kingdom Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, Ben Llewellyn-Jones, called for a peaceful and credible electoral process.

Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, in a statement, stated that the restriction takes place between 8 am and 3 pm, tomorrow.

Omotoso said: “The restriction is to enable the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC, to conduct hitch-free elections into positions of chairmen and councillors in all the 57 local governments and local council development areas.

“The restriction will facilitate the ease of movement of the electorate, election materials and LASIEC officials for the sanctity of the election, effective monitoring and enhanced security.”

READ ALSO: LG polls: Lagos restricts movement on Saturday

Meantime, Chairman of LASIEC, Justice Ayotunde Philips, (rete), urged residents to shun voter apathy and come out en masse to vote for the candidates of their choice assuring them of a level playing field in a free and fair exercise.

Justice Philips, who noted that preparations towards the election were around 90 per cent completion, said smart card readers would be deployed for the council poll.

She said: “LASIEC, the body charged with the statutory responsibility of electoral management and administration is committed to conducting a free, fair, credible and inclusive election.” 

UK Envoy calls for peaceful poll

Meanwhile, the UK Deputy High Commissioner, who spoke with chairmen of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Messrs Babatunde Balogun and  Deji Doherty, respectively, called for a free, fair, credible and peaceful elections process.

Llewellyn-Jone said:  “I’d like to encourage all parties to ensure that the electoral process of the local government elections on Saturday 24 July 2021 in Lagos is both peaceful and credible. Everyone who has registered should be able to vote, and all votes should count. The process must be seen to be free and fair. 

“Ahead of 2023 elections, the UK has continued to offer a broad range of support to Nigeria’s democratic process, and support for civil society monitoring, working with organisations such as YIAGA Africa, which champions the Not Too Young to Run movement in Nigeria. We hope to see more young people participate, and constitutional amendments that can make it easier for women to get involved in politics and to vote.”

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