BusinessDay

Lagos LG poll: Controversy as Lagos4Lagos raises alarm over APC guidelines, high nomination fee

Ahead of the July 24 council election in Lagos State, a political group within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Lagos4Lagos, has rejected the recently released guidelines of the party, saying that some provisions of the guidelines were undemocratic, unconstitutional and formulated to disenfranchise some section of party members.

Lagos4Lagos is a political movement initiated by Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran (team jandor) in 202o which is canvassing for political inclusion in Lagos State, the APC, while offering to rescue the state from the grip of few political leaders.

In a press conference with selected journalists at the movement’s headquarters in Ikeja, Lagos State, addressed by Bode Makinde an APC chieftain and the principal coordinator of the Lagos4Lagos movement, Makinde expressed serious concern about some provisions of the guidelines while seeking for review.

The movement also kicked against the nomination fees charged for chairmanship and councilorship positions, even when there were additional charges by the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), saying that the guidelines would disenfranchise party members from exercising their political ambition.

Lagos4Lagos further expressed serious concern in the APC’s screening process, faulting the provision which stipulated that aspirants must have some level of experience in public service and contributions to the party.

“Firstly, and according to the new guidelines, the nomination form for the position of LGA Chairman now stands at N2,000,000/= (two million naira), a sharp increment from N550,000/= (five hundred and fifty thousand naira) as at 2017, plus N50,000/= (fifty thousand naira) admin fee for a male while females get 50% off exclusive of the admin fee.

“A male Councillorship hopeful must pay N500,000/= (five hundred thousand) while females get 50% off for the nomination forms alongside the N50,000/= admin fee.

“With our minimum wage standing at N30,000/= a month, coupled with a harsh economy that got worsened by the pandemic, this move is clearly insensitive and definitely not in the interest of the ordinary Lagosian with inalienable rights to seek and contest the elective positions,” the movement said.

The movement stressed that the local government system was the most crucial because it remains the closest to the people, stressing that a level playing field for all aspirants must be granted rather than imposition which had characterised previous council elections in the state.

“Over the years, our local government elections have been ingloriously branded as an exclusive preserve of the state where popular candidates win elections and are blatantly denied to favour the state’s handpicked preferences.

“The new guidelines appear to strongly support this thinking as most popular candidates will be inevitably shut out especially as the fees and screening exercise have somewhat become a tool to stifle the possible advancement of a great number of candidates to the next stage.

“It is vital at this point to be reminded that the local government administration system remains the closest to the people and raising the cost of entry to this current level automatically denies a lot of people at the grassroots their legitimate ambitions to run for office,” the movement added.

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