In continuation of its efforts towards ensuring that the Local Government elections in Lagos State scheduled for July 22 are peaceful and violence-free, the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission ( LASIEC ) has enlisted the support and cooperation of traditional rulers and religious leaders in the State.
Towards this end, the Commission has visited the palaces of leading monarchs in the five divisions of the State where its representatives met with the monarchs and religious leaders to discuss the elections.
Speaking during one of the visits, Chief Toyin Ibrahim-Famakinwa, a LASIEC Commissioner, who spoke on behalf of the Chairman of the Commission, Hon. Justice Ayotunde Phillips, explained that the visit is to inform the monarchs and religious leaders about the forthcoming elections and solicit their support towards the successful conduct of the process of electing representatives into the LGAs and LCDAs.
Famakinwa assured the monarchs that the Commission would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the election is hitch-free, fair and credible.
She stated that the Commission had also met with other major stakeholders in the electoral process, including the political parties and relevant security agencies with a view to securing their goodwill and cooperation towards the success of the elections, stressing that adequate security would be provided during and after the elections.
The Commissioner said further that some sensitization had been done regarding the elections and that more would be done to ensure that every resident of the State is adequately informed about the elections.
On disagreements andcontroversies trailing the lists of candidates submitted by political parties for the posts of Chairmen and Councillors in the elections, the Commissioner said that the Commission should not be blamed for any wrongdoing since it is the responsibility of political parties to present candidates for elections.
She urged the traditional rulers and religious leaders to warn their subjects and followers, particularly the youths against engaging in political violence before, during and after the elections, pointing out that any person or group of persons caught engaging in any form of violence would be prosecuted and penalized in accordance with the dictates of the law.
In their separate responses to the request of the Commission, the monarchs and religious leaders pledged their support and cooperation to the Commission for the elections.
While expressing confidence in the ability of the Commission to conduct free, fair and credible elections, the monarchs and religious leaders pledged to sensitise their subjects and followers on the need to eschew violence and embrace peace so as to ensure that the forthcoming elections into the 57 LGAs and LCDAs are violence-free and peaceful.