Ahead of the local government poll holding next year in Lagos State, the Chairman, Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), Justice Ayotunde Phillips, (rtd), has commenced inspection tour of the Electoral Offices in all the 20 Local Government (LGs) and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) of the state.
The LASIEC boss, Phillips, who was accompanied by other members of the commission, during the on- the spot assessment of the Commission facilities, said the inspection was imperative to ascertain the functionality of the offices and equipment as part of the preparation for the next year local government election in Lagos State.
The chairman, who was represented by one of the commissioners, Dr Bunmi Omoseyindemi, said that the inspection was also a fact-finding visit that would enable the Commission to generate a comprehensive report on the physical state of the offices of the Commission at the local government headquarters across the state.
Justice Phillips appealed to the council authorities who were yet to provide the Commission with conducive and accessible office accommodation to urgently do so.
According to him, each council authorities were expected to provide the Commission with secured accommodation that is congenial for operational efficiency as both the electoral materials and equipment were very sensitive.
“Our electoral materials and equipment are very sensitive, you are expected to provide us with secured accommodation that is congenial for operational efficiency,” the LASIEC boss said.
He, however, assures that the Commission was poised to institutionalize sustainable electoral process in the state, saying that LASIEC was working tirelessly on revised guidelines that would reflect how it can successfully conduct elections in the present reality of COVID-19 pandemic if the situation persisted beyond this year.
“The Commission is working tirelessly on revised guidelines that would reflect how the Commission can successfully conduct elections in the present reality of COVID-19 pandemic if the situation persists beyond this year.
“As election managers, we are currently exchanging notes with INEC, other countries around the world, states in Nigeria who are successfully conducting elections in COVID-19 pandemic era.
“The revised document will address the health and safety of voters and election personnel, election planning, voter education, electoral participation, voter education, stakeholders engagement,” the LASIEC boss stated.
Permanent Secretary of the Commission, Mrs Sinatu Bandele Fadipe, in her remarks, stressed the need for fortified offices to ensure the safety of LASIEC personnel and equipment.
The first phase of the inspection tour took the Commission members to Eti-Osa, Iru/Victoria Island, Lagos Mainland, Yaba, Ikeja, Onigbongbo, Ojodu, Oshodi/Isolo, Amuwo- Odofin, Alimosho, Igando/Ikotun and Egbe/ Idimu.
The tour continues to other local governments and local council development areas in the state.