Saturday, July 22nd, 2017 8.00am/Proshare WebTV
All is now set for the much anticipated Local Government elections in Lagos State, Nigeria’s centre of excellence and largest economy.
It will be a foretaste of how other states will conduct their LG elections, which is conducted by the State Independent Electoral Commission.
The Local Government by constitutional design is the government at the grassroot, that is closer to the people. It is the government at the third tier level.
In terms of the Revenue and Fiscal Mobilization and Allocation Commission the percentage allocation to all the 774 local governments in Nigeria, is 21% of the Federation account.
Observation and analysis from scholars, political analysts, pundits and social commentators is the concerns of excessive interference in the affairs of local governments by the states.
In this article we explore 5 things to note as Lagosians go to the polls today, to vote;
Decisive moment for APC
The Local Government elections will be a decisive moment for the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), who has through its transformations led Lagos State for 16 years. There is currently some rancour in the party attributed to issues around the primaries, which witnessed protests from party supporters over the alleged imposition of candidates, by party leaders.
At the moment, the APC seems to be having internal crisis and if this issue is not resolved amicably, it may affect the chances of the party in sailing through the elections.
A lack of cohesion could lead to APC losing some of its strongholds to other parties.
Preparedness of Security Agents
Considering how tensed the build up to the 2017 Lagos Local Government elections have been, security of lives and properties will be critical during and after the elections.
Lagos State Police Commissioner Mr Fatai Owoseni in a press conference advised politicians, to desist from instigating violence in the State.
With 30,000 policemen and other security personnel, the police says it is ready and equipped to guarantee a peaceful and violence free election. This will be a major test for Mr Owoseni and his men.
Movement has been restricted from 7am to 3pm for the Local Government elections.
Credibility of the LASIEC
The Chairman of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission(LASIEC) Justice Ayotunde Phillips, former Chief Judge of the State will be a busy woman with her team, as they work assiduously to ensure a credible, free and fair LG election.
Her Integrity will come to the fore and all eyes will be on her leadership, in what will be a keenly contested election.
The capacity and professionalism of the LASIEC staff will be vital to the entire electioneering process.
All eyes will be on how transparent and fair the electoral commission, will be during the elections.
Role of Social Media
The Social Media has played a major role in driving active engagement in the electoral process in Nigeria, and we expect this to play out in today’s Lagos LG elections.
Already the hashtag #LagosLGDecides is generating a lot of discussions and people are participating sharing their views about the polls.
Despite warnings from the LASIEC, people will still post results from polling units.
It will be a veritable tool for the media covering the elections to post updates and send major reports.
Issues for Lagosians
The issues for Lagosians as they vote for the positions of Chairmen and Councillors in the 20 LGs and 37 LCDAs 2017 vary at this time.
From Primary healthcare, Universal Basic Education, Environment/Waste Management, Security , Taxation/Levies, Ease of Doing Business to Agriculture, voters will take key decisions on which party they will prefer.
Indeed the Lagos Local Government elections will be a crucial one, success will mean a great job by LASIEC and should challenge other states to conduct credible elections.
We expect an election that will shape the Local Government landscape in Lagos State and can only hope for a credible and peaceful experience.