Chairman, Lagos State Independent National Electoral Commission (LASIEC), Justice Ayotunde Phillips (rtd), yesterday assured that the commission is fully prepared for the local government election holding in all the 20 Local Governments (LGs) and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state today.
Phillips who gave the assurance while addressing newsmen at the commission’s headquarters at Sabo, Yaba in company of top electoral officers and the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, noted that the Saturday’s exercise was no doubt very competitive giving the large number of candidates participating which also engenders democracy, assuring that the commission under her watch would provide a level- playing ground for all candidates.
This is as Owoseni warns against violence and disruption of the exercise by hoodlums, vowing that whoever dared to test the will of the police would be made to face the full wrath of the law, even as he disclosed that a total 30,000 policemen would be deployed for the poll, along with personnel from sister force.
According to him, the figure is excluding those officers and men that would also be deployed by the Nigerian Army and other security agencies in the country, disclosing that the security presence would commence from Friday night in some already identified places, through stop and search approach. Justice Philips said the commission was out to conduct a free and fair election, advising that nobody should entertain any fear.
She said toward accomplishing this, the commission had since started distributing sensitive election materials to all the local government areas in the state, pointing out that the process was ongoing.
“The commission has deployed sensitive materials to all the local governments in the state,” she said, pointing out that the process started Friday morning and was ongoing to ensure that the needed materials reached their destinations on time.
Speaking further, the LASIEC boss who was joined by other commissioners of the commission, including the Permanent Secretary, at the briefing said accreditation and voting by the electorate would commence simultaneously by 8am and end by 3pm, reiterating that results for the chairmanship would be announced at the collation centre for the local government, while that of councillorship would be at the ward level.
She, however, said mechanism had been put in place by LASIEC, through bodies such as Election Support Centre to monitor ongoing activities at voting centres to enable the commission respond immediately.
“We are fully prepared for the election,” Phillip assured, even as she tasked the media practitioners to be patriotic, fair and objective in their reportage in order to avoid putting across wrong information that could plunge the state into chaos.