Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPA) have accused the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) of keeping political parties in the dark about two bye-elections slated for later this month.
The party complained that less than 10 days to the polls, LASIEC had not deemed it appropriate to send notification about the polls to DPA and other parties.
One bye-election will hold in Lagos Island Ward A1 in respect of a deceased Councilor originally elected on the platform of the Action Congress (AC), while another takes place in Ikorodu. Both polls have been reportedly fixed for September 18.
“We are tempted to say, ‘Here we go again,’ because this is just typical of the divide-and-rule posture that has characterized the operations of LASIEC in Lagos State. This kind of partiality robbed opposition parties of victory in past elections organized by LASIEC,” DPA said in a statement by its Director of Publicity, Felix Oboagwina.
Rising from a meeting of its Lagos State Executive Council in Yaba area on Tuesday, DPA said it only learnt on that day that two bye-elections had been scheduled in the state.
The party said LASIEC’s behaviour gave the impression it had written off other participants, something the party said could not guarantee a free and fair election.
“It is disheartening that LASIEC failed to send the notification of the election to DPA’s known address at the party’s Lagos State Secretariat in Yaba, and instead sent second-hand information through some faceless officials in the local government to advise inappropriate party officers to pick up nomination forms,” the party said. “Even now, we do not know where the bye-election will hold in Ikorodu.”
The last time Lagos witnessed a bye-election was last year when Mr. Okanlawon Soniyi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the Ibeju-Lekki Federal Constituency bye-election, after the disqualification of an Action Congress (AC) Member of the House of Representatives.
“We had hoped that with the preparations in top gear for the crucial 2011 polls, all electoral agents would be on deck, reflecting an attitudinal change that everybody has agreed will wipe away our past shame of fraud-infested elections. Unfortunately, LASIEC appears caught in its web of its old habits. And it wants to continue to do bad business as usual,” DPA said.
Director of Publicity,
Lagos state DPA