From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
In preparation for the local government election scheduled for July 24 in Ogun State, the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) met on Monday with political parties in the state and relevant stakeholders.
Addressing the parties during a stakeholders meeting held at the Cinema Hall of the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, OGSIEC Chairman Babatunde Osibodu declared that the 2021 local government election in the state would be a benchmark for other local government elections in the state and Nigeria in general.
He informed the political parties that nomination forms for the chairmanship and councillorship positions had been fixed by Commission at N200,000 and N100,000, respectively.
Osibodu added that OGSIEC would make nomination forms available free for interested female aspirants into the two positions, which according to him is to encourage women participation in politics and governance.
He stated further that members of the Transition Committee across the 20 Local Government Areas who are interested in contesting in the election must resign, latest 30 days before the date of the election.
Speaking on the election guidelines, Osibodu said that political parties are expected to conduct their primaries between Wednesday, May 5 and Thursday, May 27, while all campaigns would end by midnight of Thursday, July 22.
He appealed to all the participating political parties to keep strictly to the electoral laws and work açcording to the local government elections guidelines for a credible poll.
The chairman also called on the youth not to be willing tools in the hands of unscrupulous politicians to foment violence or cause any breach of peace, disclosing that the Commission was working closely with the security agencies to ensure that the local government election is violence free
While seeking the cooperation of the political parties for the success of the local government elections, he equally solicited support of the media in organising a credible poll, adding they must shun the temptation to be used as agents of misinformation.
Osibodu reiterated the resolve of the Commission to organise a fair, just, transparent and credible poll that would go a long way to capture the wishes of the rural dwellers across the 20 local governments, 236 wards and 4,038 polling booths.