Lagos, March 19, 2023.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has begun the state collation of results of the Saturday’s Governorship Election in Lagos State.
Naija247news reports that the exercise began on Sunday at 12 p.m. at the INEC Media Centre located within the headquarters premises of the electoral umpire.
In his opening address, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), disclosed that no fewer than 16 out of the 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state results were ready at the state collation centre.
“It is not possible for any REC (Resident Electoral Commissioner) to manipulate elections in Nigeria. If it happened in the past, it is no longer possible,” Agbaje said.
He said that the available results would be taken by LGA as they arrived.
According to him, there will be a recess if the results from the remaining four local governments have not arrived as at the time when the available would have been exhausted.
Agbaje, who reiterated that it was impossible for any REC or Electoral Officer to rig an election, decried the do-or-die attitude of politicians to elections.
“In Nigeria, we are still seeing election as a do-or-die affair,” he added.
In her remarks, Prof. Adenike Oladiji, the Vice-Chancellor of Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), the Returning Officer for the Governorship Election, said that the centre must get the collation right.
Oladiji reminded all stakeholders that the correctness of the results brought to the collation centre would be judiciously tested.
“We must get it right and we must get it correctly,” Oladiji said.
Advising all stakeholders to be orderly in their conduct, Oladiji said whoever that wanted to do manual collation of results as being reeled out should do so to cross-check the results.
Naija247news reports that there is tight security at the INEC State Office Yaba, the venue of the collation.
Representatives of political parties, domestic and foreign observers, the media and other stakeholders are on ground to witness the exercise.
Meanwhile, INEC’s rescheduled election in 10 polling units inside the Victoria Garden City (VGC) under Eti-Osa Local Government is ongoing. (www.naija247news.com)
By Peter Okafor