Relief came the way of the chairmen of local governments in Lagos State yesterday, as the State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), declared that their tenure is four years.
There have been anxieties in the last few weeks over the tenure of the chairmen.
Their predecessors spent renewable three years of two terms. But the House of Assembly amended the tenure to four years during the last administration.
The latest anxiety was hinged on whether former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode signed the amended bill into law before leaving office on May 29 last year.
The chairmen were sworn in on July 25, prompting many to insinuate that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu might send them packing in 17 days’ time.
Some of the chairmen have been accused of embezzling the June allocation to the councils from the Federal Government.
The Nation learnt that they took the action due to the fear of being dissolved by the governor.
LASIEC yesterday allayed their fears, saying the chairmen would serve their four-year tenure.
A statement from the electoral body said it has embarked on the inspection tour of the electoral offices in councils to ascertain their readiness for election next year.
LASIEC Chairman Justice Ayotunde Phillips (rtd), represented by one of the commissioners, Dr. Olubunmi Omosehindemi, said the inspection was imperative to ascertain the functionality of the offices and equipment as part of the preparation for next year’s council poll.
Justice Phillips appealed to the council authorities, who are yet to provide the commission with conducive and accessible office accommodation, to do so.
“Our electoral materials and equipment are very sensitive. You are expected to provide us with secure accommodation that is congenial for operational efficiency,” she said.
According to her, LASIEC was poised to institutionalise sustainable electoral processes in the state.
“The commission is working on revised guidelines that will reflect how the commission can successfully conduct elections in the present reality of COVID-19 pandemic, if the situation persists beyond this year.
“As election managers, we are exchanging notes with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), other states and countries around the world, who are successfully conducting elections in the COVID-19 pandemic era,” she said.
LASIEC Permanent Secretary Mrs. Sinatu Bandele Fadipe stressed the need to fortify offices to ensure the safety of the commission’s officials and equipment.
Other commissioners on the tour included Mrs. Sekinat Famakinwa-Tijani, Mr. Fasu Ayedun, Prof. Olatunde Gabriel Babawale and Dr. Noah Lawal-Jinadu.
The first phase of the inspection tour took LASIEC members to Eti-Osa, Iru/ Victoria Island, Lagos Mainland, Yaba, Ikeja, Onigbongbo, Ojodu, Oshodi/Isolo, Amuwo Odofin, Alimosho, Igando/ Ikotun and Egbe/ Idimu councils.
The tour will continue in other local governments and local council development areas.