Lagos by-elections: Council boss, group scores INEC, security agents high

A Nigerian policeman stands guard as All Progressives Congress (APC) party supporters march towards the Independent National Electoral Commission Office in Port Harcourt during a demonstration calling for the cancellation of the presidential election in the Rivers State on March 29, 2015. Thousands of supporters of Nigeria's main opposition party demonstrated in the southern state of Rivers, calling for the cancellation of elections locally because of alleged irregularities. AFP PHOTO / FLORIAN PLAUCHEUR (Photo by FLORIAN PLAUCHEUR / AFP)

By Yemi Adeleye
Lagos, Dec. 5, 2020 Mr Dele Oshinowo, the Chairman, Agboyi-Ketu Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Lagos State, on Saturday scored the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) highly in the conduct of by-elections in the state.

Oshinowo, who is the APC Party Agent for the Senatorial election, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ketu Alapere, also commended security agents for ensuring peaceful elections.

He said: “On a scale of 100 per cent, I rate INEC 90 per cent. It did well and coordinated its activities well.

“The officials moved out early because as at 8:00am, 90 per cent of polls officers and materials were at their respective polling units.

“Police and DSS were everywhere doing what they should do. We are happy for their service. In terms of security, it is 100 per cent.

“It was relatively peaceful although there were pockets of disturbance here and there which did not pose security challenge.

“As the chief security officer in the council, I have been moving around with police.”

He said that the by-election was peaceful although there was a bit of voter apathy.

“People didn’t come out to vote. We had to go out to people’s houses and tell them to come out and exercise their rights.

“The apathy maybe happened because this was not a general election as we see this virtually in all the affected local government areas: Somolu, Ikorodu, Ibeju-Lekki, Epe and here in Kosofe,” he said.

He said that many residents left for work early in the morning before the enforcement of restrictions because their employers didnt give then holiday to participate the the elections.

Oshinowo said that all stakeholders, including INEC, NOA, civil society organisaton, media and political parties needed to do more work on advocacy and sensitisation.

The council chairman, who expressed optimism that the ruling APC would win the two by-elections, said that the party had done a lot to alleviate the sufferings of the people.

“I am 100 per cent confident that the APC will carry the flag. I have assurance that my party will win because we deserve it and we have done the necessary things to support the people at the grassroots.

“We have come up with different programmes to alleviate the pains of the people,” he said.

Also speaking, Mr Abdulwaheed Odunuga, the Coordinator, Buhari Youth Organisation (BYO), Lagos State, who commended the peaceful exercise, decried the poor turnout of voters in the elections.

“INEC and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) need to do more on sensitisaton of voters in elections.

“The low turnout is a concern. In most places, less than five per cent or 10 per cent of registered voters came to vote.

“Politicians should also up their game and justify the reason they are elected to represent the people,” Odunuga added.

He commended INEC for early arrival of electoral officers.

Naija247news reports that voting, sorting and counting at polling units were concluded in the Saturday’s elections while collations were ongoing at the ward and local government levels at the time of filing this report.