Former Deputy National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, has charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that it conducts a free, fair and credible exercise in the forthcoming bye-election holding in Lagos State.
The commission is holding the bye-election, come October 31, 2020, in respect of Lagos East senatorial and Kosofe State Constituency 11 seats which became vacant following the death of their occupants a few weeks ago.
George, who is also the Atoona Odua of Yorubaland, while making the call, maintained that INEC had a responsibility to conduct a free and fair election, even as he noted that the voting system in the country is archaic and, therefore, needed to be reviewed as it gives room for a lot of manipulation.
George made the call on Monday while playing host candidates of his party for the forthcoming bye-election in the state, namely Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi for the senatorial seat and Mr Adewale Alebiosu for state House of Assembly seat, at his Ikoyi residence.
“I appeal to INEC to ensure that the election is free, fair and credible. The voting system is archaic and gives a lot of room for manipulations. It should be reviewed,” he said.
The party chieftain expressed delight with the successful conduct of the primary election, assuring that PDP would sustain the unity beyond the election to make it win the two seats in the bye-election.
He commended leaders and party faithful for the peaceful primary election, which took place last Saturday, stressing that the party was democratic by all standards, unlike the other parties, especially the All Progressives Congress (APC) which according to him adopted a consensus system where candidates were imposed on the people.
“PDP will remain democratic. We are going to stay and work together to ensure that we get the victory. The time had come for a democratic party to take over leadership. Nigerians should know that APC is not a democratic party but a private company, which can hire and fire at the whims and caprices of the emperor. PDP Will remain fair, just and equitable as a party,” George said.
Gbadamosi, in his remark, assured that he was resolved to bringing about quality representation never witnessed in the state if elected as the senator representing Lagos East.
According to him, legislations which affect Lagos State negatively would be reviewed, saying these include the Company and Allied Companies Act (CAMA) as well as the Water Resources Bill.
On CAMA, he said Lagos State generates 55 per cent of the Value Added Tax (VAT) and when redistributed at the national would only leave the state with just two per cent, declaring that there must be financial and economic devolution in the country.
“We can’t have one corporate registry operating from Abuja. Each state should have it’s own company’s registry. Each state should take its own companies tax, that is how a federal system should be operating.
“The inland waterways bill should also be a source of concern. Lagos has little land and so that water resources bill is a good example of a federal law that affects Lagos State disproportionately. These are the issues that I would fight on the floor of the Senate for the benefit of Lagosians in particular and Nigeria in general,” the politician said.