The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), Monday swore in 57 Executive Secretaries to take charge of the administration of the 20 Local Councils and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LGA/LCDAs), noting that the delay in conducting the council election was due to the inability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to complete the process of compiling voters’ register on schedule.
He said the much-awaited local council elections in Lagos might hold in March this year.
Fashola, at the swearing-in ceremony held in Alausa, however, said the Executive Secretaries would serve in transitional capacity till March 2015 with the hope that the council poll would have been held by then.
“This has made it difficult to issue election notices, but I have found it necessary to continue the delivery of service at the local council level and this is why I have decided to inaugurate the executive secretaries who will serve in a transitional capacity till the end of March, hoping that by then, all will have been sorted out with the voters’ register, and then we go to the elections to elect officers into all levels in the local council structure,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has described the swearing-in of executive secretaries to head the 57 local councils as unconstitutional, self-serving and the APC’s ploy to rig the governorship elections scheduled for next month.
Reacting on the development, the PDP spokesman, Toafik Gani, said that the action by the governor confirms the governor and the APC are acting for their selfish convenience.
He said: “They are not progressives. They are not democrats. They are aiding and abetting destruction of democracy at grassroots. It further exposes them as not democrats. This ambition is the desperation to win Lagos in 2015. The executive secretaries have been sworn in at this time to manipulate the elections at their domains for the APC.”
Fashola further said: “While it is true that it is the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) that has the responsibility of conducting this election, what may not be obvious to the public is that the register used for the election are those compiled by INEC because compilation of voters’ register is a federal responsibility that is carried out through INEC and by the time the tenure of the last local council chairmen and elected councilors expired, all of us are aware that INEC was still conducting update of voters’ registration and that record is still yet to be complete.”