The National Conscience Party (NCP) stormed the head office of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) in Yaba, Lagos on Monday to protest the exclusion of the party from the verified list of political parties contesting in the upcoming local government election.
The party members, led by NCP Lagos State Chairman Bayo Ogunleye, described the exclusion as a way of preventing the masses from taking an active part in the electoral process of the state. Mr. Ogunleye accused the ruling party in the state, the All Progressive Congress (APC), of controlling the affairs of the electoral commission to suppress likely opponents from other parties.
“The NCP is a registered political party in Nigeria, the oldest in the history of the country, and has been contesting elections since 1999. We are so surprised because we submitted all documents required by LASIEC, but the commission rolled out 12 political parties eligible to contest in the election but NCP was missing. We are here to challenge them to tell us the reason behind the exclusion of the NCP from eligible parties,” he said
Mr. Ogunleye added that the party would take legal action, if necessary, to ensure the party participates in the coming state election.
“We are calling for the postponement of this election because it is our fundamental human right to be part of this process that is ongoing,” he said.
The former party State Chairman, Mr. Tunde Agunbiade, termed the exclusion of the party as unconstitutional and expressed the party’s dissatisfaction with the commission. He further enjoined Lagosians to fight and ensure they express their constitutional right by partaking in the election.
“Sidelining a political party is illegal, undemocratic and unconstitutional, and we are saying that LASIEC should postpone the election. We are disappointed in Justice Philip Ayotunde for trying to disenfranchise Nigerians in this local government election. It is time for Lagosians to make a good choice, but we don’t want Lagosians to have an election where there is no choice,” Mr. Agunbiade said.