The Lagos Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of INEC Mr.Olusegun Agbaje, has said that Lagos State has the highest number of polling Units for the 2023 general elections as there are 245 wards in the state.
The Lagos INEC boss made the remarks during a courtesy visit paid on the INEC State Headquarters in Lagos by Executive Members of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Lagos State Council led by the Chairman, Mr Adeleye Ajayi on Wednesday.
Agbaje said the total number of online registration in Lagos State as at 7 a.m. on Monday 20th June, 2022 stood at 640,786 out of which 338,955 registrations had been duly completed.
Speaking during the courtesy call, Ajayi welcomed the INEC REC to Lagos following his redeployment to Lagos from Ogun State on March 1, 2022 having worked in four other states.
Ajayi urged the commission to collaborate with the media towards achieving a free and fair election come 2023.
” I am glad to inform you that Lagos has the highest number of journalists in Nigeria, and one cannot but work closely with the media for a successful outing ” the NUJ chairman said.
Ajayi also appealed to the Lagos INEC boss to beef up security for voters as well as journalists for the general elections in 2023.
” We shouldn’t only concentrate on securing the votes alone. The lives of journalists must also be protected because journalists play very crucial roles in coverage of elections.
“Media Accreditation for journalists is equally important and other Civil Society Organisations must not be left behind.
“We assure INEC of wide publicly before, during and after the general elections in Lagos State, ” Ajayi said..
Similarly, Mr Adebowale Ademiluyi, Chairman Disability Committee of Lagos NUJ, called for training of INEC staff on how to professionally guide People with Disabilities (PWDs) during elections.
“A lot of disabled people are not treated politely during election.
“A lot of them have been discouraged because of the stress they encounter during the registration process and during the elections. Hence, there’s need to make the process more easy in order to accommodate more people with disabilities” Ademiluyi said.
The visit also afforded the INEC boss the opportunity to clear the air on the rumour being speculated across social media platforms that some INEC offices in Lagos requested for LASRRA number as part of the documentation process for INEC registration.
“I want to say that there’s nothing of such as the only requirement for anyone seeking to register is that he or she must have attained the age of 18”. Agbaje said.
In his response to questions regarding including Persons Living with Disabilities (PWDs), in the electoral process, he affirmed that persons with disabilities could also partake in election monitoring but there were guidelines to be followed.
“We will also make sure that we create a conducive and friendly working environment for PWDs in all our offices going forward.
“I want to categorically state that there will also be training for Ad-hoc staff so that persons with disabilities will be able to vote easily without any stress,” Agbaje said.
The electoral commissioner reiterated that an interactive session between the Nigeria Union of Journalists and INEC would be organised by the Commission soon.
Other Management staff of the Commission were present.
Lagos NUJ Secretary, Mr Tunde Olalere: Mr Philip Nwosu, Assistant Secretary; Mrs Iyabo Ogunjuyigbe, Treasurer; and Mr Olayide Awosanya, Ex-Officio; were also in attendance.