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Lagos set for Surulere Federal Constituency by-election with 12 contenders, INEC urges fair play

The Independent National Electoral Commission gears up for the February 3 by-election, warning against malpractices

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In the political heartbeat of Lagos, 12 candidates from various political parties are poised to vie for victory in the upcoming House of Representatives by-election for the Surulere Federal Constituency. The revelation was made by the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Ayobami Salami, during a meeting with political party leaders on Thursday. The by-election arises from the resignation of Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu, who was the constituency’s representative.

Prof. Salami, emphasizing the commitment to a credible poll, cautioned against malpractices, specifically singling out vote-buying. The electoral process, scheduled for February 3, holds significance as it necessitates fresh primaries within the provided timeframe, marking it as a distinct category of by-election.

Providing insights into the preparatory steps taken, Prof. Salami highlighted that the notice of election was issued on January 4. Party primaries, crucial for selecting candidates, were conducted from January 5 to January 9. While 14 political parties were initially slated to participate, only 12 eventually took part and have been submitted to the national headquarters for publication.

The roster of candidates includes Akinyemi Da-Sliva (Accord); Kayode Jelili (Action Alliance); Collins Aigbokhaode (African Democratic Congress); Fuad Laguda (All Progressives Congress); Jonathan Ololade (All Progressives Grand Alliance); and Samuel Ekwuruke (Allied People’s Movement). Also in contention are Yinusa Adisa (Action People’s Party); Adeola Adebanjo (Labour Party); Jerry Afemighie (Peoples Democratic Party); Muyiwa Adedeji (Social Democratic Party); Oluwole Austine Brito (Young Progressive Party); and Emereole Anthony (Zenith Labour Party).

While recruitment and training of ad hoc officials are in progress, non-sensitive materials for the election have been arranged, with sensitive materials awaited for delivery. Prof. Salami urged all stakeholders to adhere to established rules, emphasizing the need to eliminate ballot snatching, vote-buying, and thuggery for a democratic process free of discord.

“Being a double-edged game, the commission will also profoundly appreciate that the stakeholders play the game according to the established rules. The idea of ballot snatching, vote-buying, and thuggery should be jettisoned,” Salami urged, promoting a collective effort to strengthen and safeguard the democratic process.

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