The Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, has called on the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC, to review downward the nomination fee for the forthcoming local council election, to enhance inclusiveness in the election.
Chairman of IPAC in Lagos State, James Adeshina, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Friday, shortly after LASIEC’s consultative parley with leadership of political parties ahead of the July 24 poll.
Adeshina, who is also the chairman of Lagos State chapter of the African Action Congress, AAC, said that the downward review of the nomination forms’ fee charged by LASIEC had become imperative to enhance more inclusive participation.
He also suggested that all female aspirants should be exempted from payment of nomination forms’ fee to further mainstream gender at the grassroots politics.
He disclosed that LASIEC is proposing N150,000 as nomination fee for chairmanship aspirants, N100,000 for vice-chairmanship aspirants and N75,000 for councillorship aspirants.
He said, “The argument at the meeting is on the nomination forms’ fee to be paid by aspirants, who want to participate in the election.
“We are all united that the commission should review the fees; it should be reduced.
“Female aspirants should be exempted from paying nomination fees to mainstream gender in the poll also.”
In a related development, IPAC spokesman, Biodun Salami, told NAN that the party leaders called for a downward review of nomination fee, in view of the economic situation of the country.
Salami, who is also the Deputy Publicity Secretary of the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, said that IPAC members were of the opinion that such review would bring some reliefs, promote participation and reduce apathy.
Describing the parley between LASIEC anc IPAC as “family discussion,” Salami said that LASIEC’s hope of having an all-inclusive election would not be dashed, considering the participation of political parties in the meeting.
Earlier in her address at the parley, LASIEC chairman, retired Justice Ayotunde Philips, assured political parties of a free, fair and credible election, even as she urged stakeholders to participate, as well as mobilise voters to have an all-inclusive poll.
Advising party leaders to play by the rules, Philips, said that the strategic consultation was to rub minds on the pathway to all inclusive and peaceful electioneering processes.
She said, “Through the collaboration, the commission’s mandate of electoral management shall be greatly enhanced.
“I will reassure you that the commission shall remain focused on the goal of delivering free, fair and credible election.
“We wish to reassure Lagos residents that as election manager, the commission shall continue to build and sustain its integrity as an impartial body, recognised for excellence in the electoral administration.”
She insisted that the electoral umpire would sustain democracy by adopting internationally acceptable standards of electoral processes.
Phillips also said that the commission would continue to implement all activities on schedule, in accordance to the timetable and shall operate within the ambit of the law.
Noting that the commission would continue to build strong partnership with critical stakeholders, such as political parties, media, civil societies, NGOs, security agencies, community and religious leaders and market associations,retired Justice Phillips urged all stakeholders to be part of efforts on voter education and enlightenment to stem the tide of voter apathy, political thuggery and violent conduct before, during and after the poll.
NAN reports that LASIEC had on Wednesday published a notice of election into the offices of chairman and councillors in all 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas, LCDAs, in the state.