Council Polls: Lagos Dismisses Report on Candidates’ Imposition

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• Moves to checkmate kidnapping in Epe

By Gboyega Akinsanmi

The Lagos State Government at the weekend said it had put in place all necessary measures to hold its local government election on July 22 unfailingly, insisting on credible primaries and fair election. 

Likewise, the state government said it had acquired five hectares of land for the security operatives at Igbodu Community in Epe area of Lagos to check incessant attacks from kidnappers. 

The Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Mr. Muslim Folami, disclosed this at a news conference he addressed alongside his information counterpart, Mr. Steve Ayorinde and the Special Adviser on Community and Communications, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, among others.

At the conference, the commissioner explained the resolve of the state government to hold free and free fair council election, noting that all measures had been worked out to hold the poll on July 22.

According to him, we have resolved the local government election will hold on July 22 as scheduled. We have, also, put in place all necessary measures to conduct free and fair election on this date. 

As a government, Folami said the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode “is known for its high regard for people’s choice. At different times, this has been the guiding principle of Ambode’s administration. 

“We shall hold on to democratic norms in the conduct of our public affairs, not just in the next local government election. We have nothing to fear because our government is really meeting people’s expectation. Why should we impose candidate or rig election?”

In his own explanation, Bamigbetan allayed fear of the residents concerning the election, noting that the state government had no intention or plan to impose any candidate on the people contrary to some speculations.

He, therefore, said the state government would ensure that all political parties would conduct credible primaries in preparation for the local government election already slated for July 22.

On the rising cases of kidnapping in Epe, Folami said the state government was determined to arrest the rising wave of kidnapping in Epe area of the state and had therefore acquired the hectares of land for security operatives to effectively checkmate activities of kidnappers.

Folami also explained the significance of  Community Development Associations (CDAs) and members of Community Development Committees (CDCs) in the state, noting that the state government had always encouraged the CDAs and CDCs to take ownership of some of its community-based projects for adequate monitoring, management and supervision.

According to him, the various CDAs and CDCs across the State presently provide a platform through which government tested the viability of its plans, policies and programmes and also obtains feedback from members of the public on the acceptability of government projects.

Folami said the 117 community roads delivered by the state government in all the local government areas and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) had been handed over to members of CDAs and CDCs to manage and maintain in conjunction with the Sole Administrators of the various councils.

In the last one year, the commissioner said Ambode had executed several other community-friendly policies like inauguration and revival of the market committee, adding that the governor had also directed LGAs and LCDAs “to ensure that monthly allowances were given to CDAs to power light and maintain street lights on newly delivered roads. 

“The state government also distributed three branded vehicles to the best three communities that excelled in self- help development initiatives in the state and gave cash prizes to seven CDAs as consolation prizes as a way of encouraging community-communalism.”