We of the Lagos State Chapter of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) condemn in strongest terms the imposition of Sole Administrators on local councils in Lagos State by the Akinwumi Ambode-led All Progressives’ Congress Government. Hence, this act is not only undemocratic, it violates section 7 (1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended which states: “the system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this Constitution guaranteed…” This is inspite of the valid and subsisting judgment of the High Court of Lagos State that mandates the Lagos State Government to hold elections into the local councils since January, 2016. The Lagos State government just like other state governments across the federation has converted local councils into its marionette.
We reject the argument of the Ambode regime that it has filed a Notice of Appeal to the judgment at the High Court. It is extant law that where Notice of Appeal is filed without filing Appellant’s brief, the appeal is deemed to have been abandoned. Having abandoned same, what is proper is for regime to conduct elections into the local councils.
We also condemn the nature of the recent appointments into the board of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission with majority of the appointees being card-carrying members of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC). For instance, appointment of Dr. Bunmi Omoseindemi, a leading figure in the APC into the board like most other board members suggests to us that council polls that would be conducted by such a board of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission would not be free and fair as the board is made up of biased and partisan elements. We demand that the board of LASIEC should be composed of representatives of active political parties and social groups and its affairs carried out transparently.
We are quick to warn that if these undemocratic steps of the Lagos State Government are not reversed, we of the Lagos State Chapter of the Socialist Party of Nigeria will join and collaborate with other willing forces to engage in both legal and political struggle to stop the Lagos State Government from turning the state into a “banana republic”