By Evelyn Usman
lagos—Some political parties in Lagos State yesterday threatened that the forthcoming local government election might be marred with violence, if the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC insisted on collecting administrative fees from aspirants.
To this effect , the aggrieved parties through the Inter Party Advisory Committee has given LASIEC up until May 15, to withdraw payment of administrative fees as part of the conditions to acquire election forms, threatening to take a decisive action if their request was not granted.
The parties who bared their minds during a meeting with the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, described the introduction of administrative fees as strange, stating that there was no such condition in the election that brought Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to power.
They, therefore, maintained that they would only pay the administrative fees if Governor Ambode and other public office holders who contested in the last general election would produce receipts of the administrative fees they paid.
Administrative fees for form for the position of a local government chairman according to them , is N150,000, that for the position of the Deputy Chairman is N100,000 while Counsellor are to pay N75,000.
According to the spokesperson for the National Conscience Party, NCP, Fatai Ibu-Owo “Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, is trying to deprive us from contesting and the consequences will bring war. Ambode collected INEC form free of charge. The senate president and other politicians who are in power today did not pay administrative fees. But LASIEC is saying it is not free. When we complained to LASIEC, it said it would hold a meeting with us, only for them to carry an advertorial on the administrative fee. The constitution of Nigeria does not indicate charges for administrative fee. We are not going to take this from the ruling party because we are all Lagosians.
“Our primary election comes up on May 20 but forms have not been given to us”. .
On his part, the Chairman, Action Alliance and Secretary, IPAC, Shola Omolola said: “LASIEC has written a letter acknowledging receipt of our letter and promised to brief us before the deadline which is Monday. If by Monday they did not call us, then we will decide what to do.”
But the CP was quick to caution the parties on their choice of words, advising them to seek redress through the appropriate channel. He had earlier explained that the purpose of the meeting was to rub minds with them, with a view to ensuring that the local government election billed for July 22, was devoid of violence. Describing an incident which led to the death of one person during one of the parties’ mock primary last week as unwarranted, Owoseni called members of the parties present, to conduct themselves in a manner that would not make them to be chased by policemen.
He also requested that dates and venues of the parties primaries should be conveyed to the command with a view to preparing the police to provide security. He also informed that he would be meeting with LASIEC today and would convey the parties position to it, adding that if it meant taking it to the security council in order to ensure there the election was hitch free, he would.
Parties represented at the meeting included: National Conscience Party, NCP, Accord, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressive Party (APC), Action Alliance (AC), People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), Alliance for Democracy (AD), Labourer Party (LP) and Citizen Popular Party (CPP) and Better Nigeria People’s Party (BNPP), among others.
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