Violence, Low Turnout, Rain Mar Lagos Council Election

Violence, downpour and voter apathy marred the local government election conducted by the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission across the state on Saturday.

The election was aimed at filling leadership positions in the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas in the state.

However, reports from across the state revealed that the enthusiasm that usually trailed general election was in short supply as Lagosians preferred to observe Saturday as a day of rest.

From Lagos Island to Ikeja, Epe to Badagry and Ikorodu to all the polling units in the state, only a handful of voters came out to exercise their civil duty.

For instance, the polling unit where Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State voted was deserted by residents immediately the governor cast his vote.

Ambode, who arrived at Ward A6, Unit10, located on the premises of Ogunmodede Junior and Senior College, Papa, Epe, at about 9.30am, cast his vote at 9.44am.

Ambode was in the queue for about 12 minutes before he was accredited to vote.

After casting his vote, a large number of the residents in the queue followed the governor, without waiting to vote.

The governor pleaded with the voters to cast their vote first before visiting him in his house but the electorate did not heed his pleas.

Rather, they stood guard at Ambode’s country home, not far from the school where the governor voted. They were still there as of 10.21am when newsmen left the area.

Apart from the downpour and voter apathy, the late arrival of electoral materials and violence scared voters away from the polling units.

For instance, thugs invaded some parts of Ojodu during the election on Saturday , conspicuously seen smoking Indian hemp. Thus scaring away some residents, voters, journalists, and other officials.
Newsmen observed that the exercise was conducted under tense atmosphere in Mushin as hoodlums shot continuously to disrupt the poll.

The hoodlums had attempted to snatch ballot boxes in some polling units in the area but for the intervention of policemen in the convoy of the state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni.

Even though the attempt was foiled, the shooting continued for about 30 minutes while the CP was on the ground.

Voting was brought to an abrupt end at about 1.30pm because of the situation while seven persons, including a lady were arrested in the area.
Heavy downpour was also observed in some parts of Lagos mainland, including Apapa, Oyingbo, Herbert Macaulay, and Alagomeji areas.

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