The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has called on the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) to review downward fee for nomination forms to enhance inclusiveness in the forthcoming council poll.
IPAC Chairman in Lagos, James Adeshina, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday shortly after the LASIEC’s consultative parley with leadership of political parties ahead of the July 24 poll.
Adeshina, also the Lagos State Chairman of 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.
The IPAC chairman also suggested that all female aspirants should be exempted from payment of nomination forms’ fee to further mainstream gender at the grassroots politics.
According to him, LASIEC is proposing N150,000 for the chairmanship aspirants, N100,000 for the vice-chairmanship aspirants and 75,000 for the councillorship aspirants.
“The argument in 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 free from paying nomination forms to mainstream gender in the poll also,” Adeshina said.
IPAC Spokesman, Biodun Salami, told NAN that the party leaders called for review of fee for nomination forms in view of the economic situation of the country.
Salami, also state Deputy Publicity Secretary 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.
He described the meeting as “family discussion,” saying 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, Retired Justice Ayotunde Philips, the LASIEC Chairman, assured political parties of a free, fair and credible election and urged stakeholders to participate as well as mobilise voters to have an all-inclusive poll.
Philips, who advised party leaders to play by the rules, said that the strategic consultation was to rub minds on the pathway to all inclusive and peaceful electioneering processes.
The chairman said: ” Through the collaboration, the commission’s mandate of electoral management shall be greatly enhanced.
“I will reassure you that the commission shall remain focus 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 said.
She said that the body would sustain democracy by adopting the internationally acceptable standards of electoral processes.
She 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.
Philips noted that the commission would continue to build strong partnership with critical stakeholders such as the political parties, media, civil societies, NGOs, security agencies, community, religious leaders and market associations.
She 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. (NAN)