The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State on Friday met with leaders of political parties and other stakeholders in the five Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Lagos East Senatorial District ahead of Oct. 31 bye-elections.
INEC Spokesman in Lagos, Femi Akinbiyi, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the meeting followed Thursday’s expanded stakeholders’ meeting in Ikeja to keep other grassroots stakeholders abreast of the preparations.
Akinbiyi said that INEC was not leaving any stone unturned in its preparations to ensure successful Lagos East Senatorial and Kosofe Constituency II bye-elections on Oct. 31.
He said that the meetings with grassroots stakeholders was borne out of the commission’s commitment to conduct free, fair, credible and acceptable elections.
The INEC spokesman said that the meetings had in attendance security agents, traditional and religious leaders, market leaders and Civil Society Organisations(CSOs) at each of the five LGAs.
“Today, INEC in Lagos State again met with various stakeholders at each of the affected local governments in Lagos East Senatorial District. INEC Electoral Officers in Somolu, Kosofe, Ikorodu, Epe and Ibeju Lekki Local Governments met with relevant stakeholders.
” This becomes important after the expanded stakeholders’ meeting held yesterday at CMD in Ikeja to take the message down to the grassroots for violence-free elections.
“The meeting in each of the affected local governments was attended by security operatives in the area, security agencies, CSOs, religious and traditional leaders, Iyaloja, Babaloja and others who assured INEC of support.
“We pleaded for total support to fight such malpractice as violence, vote buying, ballot snatching and the likes in the forthcoming bye-elections.
“The commission also sought support for voter mobilisation and peaceful conduct with all stakeholders,” said the INEC Spokesman.
Akinbiyi said that INEC had improved on the deployment of personnel for elections, saying that the commission was currently training all the Supervisory Presiding Officers (SPOs) for the forthcoming bye-elections.
He said that the SPOs would in turn train all Presiding Officers and Assistant Presiding Officers for the elections.
According to him, the commission also used the meeting to inform the grassroots stakeholders to adhere strictly to all regulations and guidelines for the conduct of elections under the COVID-19 pandemic period.
Also, speaking to NAN, Mr Adebisi Ajayi, the INEC Electoral Officer for Kosofe LGA, said that all grey issues were cleared and expressed satisfaction with the turnout of grassroots stakeholders for the meeting in the area.
Ajayi said that the commission used the avenue to provide information on the number of registered voters, those with Permanent Voter Cards, polling units and voting points in the area.
According to him, the commission used the opportunity to request for massive mobilisation of voters and to caution their supporters to steer clear of violence.
NAN reports that the bye-elections become necessary following the demise of the senator representing Lagos East District and the member representing Kosofe State Constituency II, Lagos State House of Assembly.
Edited By: Cecilia Odey/Wale Ojetimi