The Chairman of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), Hon. Justice Ayotunde Phillips, has allayed the fears of politicians over the conduct of free, fair and credible elections into the Local Government Councils of the State, stressing that she would do everything to protect her integrity and reputation.
Hon. Justice Phillips gave the assurance while speaking at a Political Stakeholders’ Forum organised by the Commission at the Central Business District, Ikeja, Lagos.
The Chairman urged the politicians to put their minds at rest and allow the Commission to execute plans to facilitate free, fair and credible Local Government Council elections in the State.
She explained that the political class has a major role to play in ensuring peaceful, orderly and successful conduct of elections, adding that the way the political parties and their members conduct their affairs directly impacts on the conduct of elections, positively or negatively.
Justice Philips further noted that many of the lapses for which Election Management bodies are often held responsible are as a result of the actions and inactions of the populace.
She emphasised the need for stronger collaboration and cooperation between the key stakeholders and the Commission for the entrenchment of democracy and sound democratic practices at the grassroots level of the State.
The Chairman revealed that LASIEC embarked on the tour to inspect ballot-box storage facilities and offices of its Electoral Officers in the 30LGs and 27LCDAs to ensure a suitable environment is in place for effective discharge of duties by personnel of the Commission.
She further disclosed that the Commission would also embark on a massive training and re-training programme for the Chairman, Commissioners, the Permanent Secretary and staff of the Commission as well as the ad-hoc-staff to be engaged on election administration, management and international best practices.
The forum, which was attended by representatives of many political parties in the State, is one of the avenues adopted by the Commission to sensitise members of the public on the electoral process at the Local Government level of the State.