- “hold them responsible for eventual violence in LG poll”
Activist for Good Governance (AGG), a Lagos based human right advocacy group has indicted the Lagos State House of Assembly, over the shoddy manner the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) law was amended, citing the move as a deliberate attempt to unscrupulously substitute validated candidates.
Speaking at a press briefing addressed by the National of Chairman of AGG, Comrade Declan Ihekaire,themed:’Democracy of power show and political godfatherism’ held in Lagos.
The convener noted that ahead of the 22nd July council poll the All Progressives Congress have not fared well.
According to Comrade Declan,we hold the opinion that the All Progressives Congress APC,have not fared well in the manner certain influential persons have been tinkering with psyche of the electorates,by the way of imposing candidates on electorates.
“For example consensus candidates list were sent to LASIEC,the police,DSS and other relevant agencies for screening acceptance,candidates have been screened by LASIEC and validated candidates have emerged but to our greatest dismay,on the 18th day of July 2017,at Lagos house where candidates were to receive the party flag as APC bearer for the election,certain candidates who have been validated by LASIEC were substituted with other names that were not screened.
“This action by its perpetrators should not be allowed to go unchecked, as it has created serious tension in the polity as
certain persons have been brutalized,injured and this has also given room to acrimony amongst party faithfuls.
“Our stance is that since the chairman of LASIEC Retired Justice Ayotunde Phillips is a person of great integrity and repute devoid of partisan politics,we call on her to stick with the list of the validated candidates in her custody before the 18th of July and to ensure it stand for the conduct of 22nd July local government elections.
“Anything short of this position, we shall mobilize would be voters against this party APC,that has allowed itself to be controlled by powers that be through godfatherism,rather than fielding popular candidates who emerged through party primaries or as consensus candidates.
“By the amendment hurriedly done by the Lagos State House of Assembly and passed into law with the first,second and third reading and passage done same day, the state legislature shot itself on the foot.
“By saying that any candidate who wishes to withdraw from contesting can do that not later than three days to the election by personally,taking a letter of withdrawal to the state secretary of the party involved who must also personally take same to LASIEC not later than 12noon three days to the election.
“As at the time of briefing the press all candidates who have been validated but whose name has been removed by the kangaroo arrangement held in Lagos house yesterday, has not written or presented any letter either by proxy or personally. So their name still remain validated until otherwise is done. LASIEC need issue publication if the substitution is properly done.
“All lovers of democracy should condemn this devilish act against the will of the masses,we are aware that Lagos State House of Assembly has amended section 28 and 62 subsection 1 of the electoral act.
Declan questions the motive of the state legislature,stressing that,“the action of the Lagos State House of Assembly is unacceptable to Lagosians,we are saying that they did that in order to rob validated candidates, who have been chosen through consensus arrangement,substituting them with people who were not screened.
Maintaining that,“ if there is any violence,members of the Lagos State House of Assembly should be held accountable,for it”.