The Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission ( LASIEC ) has presented Certificate of Return to Mr. Olufemi Nurudeen Sowande, the winner of the Councillorship by-election into Ward C ( Owode Orile ) in Bariga Local Council Development Area of the State, held on Tuesday.
While congratulating the newly elected Councillor, the Chairman of the Commission, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, urged him to be magnanimous in victory, adding that with the mandate he had been given through his victory, he was expected to represent the collective interests of the entire constituents of the area regardless of any political differences.
The Chairman, whose address was presented by an Electoral Commissioner of the Commission, Olusegun Ayedun, further noted that since election into political offices was meant to serve as a platform for elected representatives to serve the people, the newly elected Councillor must demonstrate commitment to the service of the people not only in his Ward, but in his Local Council Development Area as a whole.
Speaking on voter turn-out for the election, Phillips pointed out that the Commission observed a high rate of voter apathy during the by-election, adding that many eligible voters in the area felt so unconcerned about the election which made many of them stay away from polling units where they were expected to cast their votes.
She noted, “If we agree that democracy is about majority rule, we must all work together to ensure that people elected into political offices are actually elected by majority of the eligible residents of a community.”
The Chairman, therefore, appealed to all stakeholders, particularly leaders of political parties to step up efforts to complement the efforts of the Commission on voter education and sensitization with a view to increasing voter participation in the electoral process by eligible residents of the State.
In his response after receiving his certificate of return, Mr. Sowande commended the Commission for providing a conducive atmosphere for a free, fair and credible election. He also expressed appreciation to his political leaders and supporters for standing by him before, during and after the election, promising that he would work hard to justify the confidence reposed in him by the people.
It would be recalled that the Councillorship seat in the Ward became vacant following the death of the former occupant of the seat a few months ago.
Also present at the ceremony were other Electoral Commissioners of the Commission: Hon. Olusegun Ayedun, Chief ( Mrs.) Toyin Ibrahim- Famakinwa, Dr. Noah Lawal -Jinadu and the Permanent Secretary of the Commission, Mr. Sesan Ogundeke, Directors of the Commission as well as political allies of the new Councillor.