Friday, July 21, 2017 7:28 pm
The Chairman, Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), Retired Justice Ayodele Phillips, on Friday said nobody should entertain any doubt on the neutrality of the commission as an electoral umpire.
Phillips, at a news conference in Lagos ahead of Saturday’s council polls in the state, reassured all players of the commission’s readiness to conduct free and fair elections.
“I wish to reiterate that the commission will provide a level playing field for all political parties and their candidates.
“The commission shall remain committed to its responsibilities of conducting free, fair and credible elections.
“Nobody, therefore, has any cause to entertain any fear or doubt on the neutrality of the commission as an electoral umpire at the local government level of the state.
“We are very much aware of our responsibilities as provided for in the relevant enabling laws”she said.
Phillips said the various logistics and measures had been put in place to ensure that the poll was not only free but also credible.
Detailing the preparations, the chairman said the commission had already moved all non -sensitive electoral materials to the 20 Local Goverment Areas and 37Local Council Development Areas.
She said that the early movement materials was to forestall delay and ensure early take off of the election.
The chairman also said all security arrangements had been concluded to ensure a hitch-free election.
Philips reiterated that the restriction of movement from 7am to 3pm was to ensure order and impressive participation in the polls.
She said the commission was at the climax of sensitisation campaigns to mobilise residents for the election.
The chairman urged residents to come out during the election and vote for the candidates of their choice.
She urged residents and candidates to conduct themselves peacefully and shun acts of violence during and after the election.
Phillips said accreditation of voters and the actual voting would commence simultaneously at 8am.
She said results would be declared across the state not earlier than 3pm, after voting.
Phillips said that councillorship results would be declared at ward collation centres, while results for the chairmanship would be declared at the local government collation centres.
“The only condition that may warrant the declaration of the results outside of the collation centres is if it is discovered that the environment is not safe,” she said.
The LASIEC chairman however said developments across the state would be monitored at an Election Support Centre set up at the commission’s office.
She thanked the media for their collaboration with LASIEC to ensure the success of the polls.
Phillips urged the media to be professional in the coverage of the election and avoid reports that could incite people to violence.