After several months of delay, indications are that Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial hub will in April hold elections into the third-tier of government- its 20 local government and 37 Local Council Development Areas.
According to a source close to Alausa, Ikeja, the Lagos State Government secretariat, a date would be fixed for the poll, the first under Governor Akinwunmi Ambode who assumed office on May 29, 2015.
The decision is coming after the state’s chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), last month, challenged the state Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) to announce the date and guidelines for the conduct of election, or it would call for the sack of the Justice Ayotunde Phillips (retd.) led body.
The party’s publicity secretary, Taofik Gani, in a statement, had noted that the call was “on the heels of the recent decision of the Supreme Court judgment which has again further reiterated the illegality and unconstitutionality of unelected persons to govern local government areas.
“The Supreme Court led by Justice Rhodes-Vivour reaffirmed the need for local governments to be run by only democratically elected persons as chairmen. Justice Vivour is a lagos state slot at the supreme Court.
“Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of Lagos High Court had sometimes in 2006 declared such caretaker committees in Lagos councils as illegal. By all these plethora of judgments and the composition of LASIEC, this unending delay can no longer be justified,” the statement noted.
It challenged the LASIEC to purge itself of the accusations that it was incompetent and partisan, thereby lacking the confidence to conduct credible local government polls occasioning the unending delay to hold the exercise.
“We specifically challenge the LASIEC headed by Justice Phillips (retd) to purge itself of the accusations that it is incompetent and partisan, thereby lacking the confidence to conduct credible local government polls hence the unending delay to conduct the polls,” the PDP said.
The party maintained that it was very expedient for the third tier of government to have democratically elected persons to carry out the developments contemplated in the constitution as well as compliment the state and Federal governments.