On Saturday, July 24, 2021, the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) will conduct an election to elect the next chairman and councillors in the 20 local government areas and the 37 local council development areas in the state.
Why should you care about this?
Provisions in the 1999 constitution and the Electoral Act of 2010 say that citizens of Nigeria have the right to register as voters and vote for the candidates of their choice during election cycles.
Saturday’s election is happening because grassroots representation is important, which makes it more interesting. Nigeria operates a three-tier government system, and the local government is the closest to everyday Nigerians. The winners in Saturday’s polls will oversee the affairs of their respective local government and ensure its development during the time they are in office. That is, they will be in charge of everything you care about.
What do you need to know about this election?
For starters, the Lagos State government has announced a movement restriction that will last for seven hours on the day of the election. In a statement by Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, the restriction will start at 8 a.m and end at 3 p.m.
Part of the statement reads:
“The restriction is to enable the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC, to conduct hitch-free elections into positions of chairmen and councillors in all the 57 local government and local council development areas.”
What does this mean for you?
If you live in Lagos, you should consider staying at home between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Why is this important? It will allow ease of movement for people who want to go out to vote. Also, it will be easier for election officials to move the materials to the polling units where they are needed and allow for effective monitoring and security.
The sets of people this movement restriction doesn’t affect are election officials, press and medical personnel and other essential workers.
I have a permanent voters card, what should I do?
If you’re a registered voter with a permanent voters card, you should go out to vote. The Chairman of LASIEC, Justice Ayotunde Philips has expressed the commission’s readiness to conduct credible, free and fair elections.
Mrs Ayotunde says, “LASIEC, the body charged with the statutory responsibility of electoral management and administration, is committed to conducting a free, fair, credible and inclusive election.”
Okay, cool. I have my PVC and I’m going out to vote. How does this work?
The process is largely straightforward and can work in four or five simple steps. Let’s break it down :
- Find your polling unit: If you’re not sure where your polling unit is, this locator microsite from INEC might help you.
- Verify and authenticate your PVC: As part of the accreditation process, an election official, usually the Assistant Polling Officer (APO) at the polling unit will ask for your permanent voters card and run it through a card reader configured for this purpose. The entire process will take between 10 and 20 seconds. Then you will be asked to do a biometrics verification to confirm that you’re the cardholder. Once you have been verified, you will be asked to proceed to the next stage.
- Collect your ballot paper from the polling officer: The Polling Officer at your unit will give you the ballot paper and direct you to the voting booth.
- Vote for the candidate of your choice and cast your ballot
You can read more about the process here.
That’s it. However, you should consider staying behind at the polling unit until voting has concluded. Take part in ballot counting and wait until the results of the polling unit are announced.
I don’t have my voters card but I want to vote. Is there anything I can do?
Sadly, you won’t be able to vote if you don’t have a permanent voters card. The good thing is that you can start the process of getting one today. If you’re not sure how to do it, this article is a good place to start.
Read more articles like this here.