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25,000 policemen, others take positions ahead Lagos council election

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

As part of efforts to ensure that the Lagos State local council election is free and fair, no fewer than 25, 000 policemen and other security agencies personnel were reported to have started taking positions to ensure that the exercise does not witness any form of violence before, during, and after in the state.

Aside from that, 15 political parties and their candidates have been approved by the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) to compete for chairmanship and councillorship seats across the state.

These were disclosed by the commission’s Chairman, Justice Ayotunde Phillips (retd.) during an interview on a popular television programme on Friday, less than 24 hours to the exercise in Lagos, noting that this was the assurance gotten from the Commissioner of Police, Lagos Command, Hakeem Odumosu.

Phillips explained that the huge number was to ensure that the electorates were protected while exercising their civic duties at each of the polling units across Lagos.

The chairman added that the law enforcement agency personnel would ensure that both the sensitive and non-sensitive materials deployed for the exercise were protected even after the electoral exercise had been concluded.

“Security of lives and properties is being put in consideration, there will be adequate security, the police, civil defense, and Neighbourhood Watch will be on standby. The Commission is leaving nothing to chance to ensure free and fair poll,” she said.

While disclosing that 15 political parties’ logos would appear on the ballot papers, she assured Lagosians that all necessary preparations have been done to ensure that the exercise is seamless.

Earlier during a news conference in Yaba area of Lagos, the chairman stressed that all is set for the commission to hold a free and fair Local Government election in the state on Saturday, adding the materials had already been distributed across the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) of the state.

The LASIEC boss said smart cards would be used during the poll, saying that in cases where the smart cards could not read the PVCs, provisions had been made for such people to cast their votes as their names would be identified on the list.

She stated that LASIEC would ensure that all voters wear a face mask and observe social distance before voting in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, saying the poll would begin at 8.00am and end at 3.00pm.

Philips revealed that results of the poll could be monitored on the commission’s website, but added that the commission is putting finishing touches to hitches on the website.

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