The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) traded blames over alleged thuggery and intimidation during Saturday’s runoff election in Agege Ward F in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the runoff election was held because the July 24 councillorship poll did not produce a clear winner in the area.
The Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) Chairman, Ayotunde Phillips, had said that the runoff was necessitated by the tie between councillorship candidates of the APC and PDP.
However, Sakiru Akinwande, the PDP councillorship candidate, decried alleged intimidation of his supporters by security operatives in the poll.
Mr Akinwande, who noted that he was not impressed with the process, commended his supporters for standing by him.
“If the institution that is supposed to protect us, guide our votes and make things in order are still the one being used to intimidate the opposition party, it is disheartening.
“We have our supporters and people that want to vote still in police custody.
‘For how long are we going to do this? The police should do things the way it should be done because of posterity
“The police should try and be neutral in all things they are doing. They should not be partial and sentimental,” Mr Akinwande said.
In his reaction, Aransiola Yusuf, the APC councillorship candidate in the ward, who described the process as peaceful, also alleged that the PDP supporters were intimidating APC supporters.
Mr Yusuf alleged that the PDP supporters were moving around with thugs wielding sticks and guns.
He, however, commended LASIEC for timely arrival of polling officers and materials without any disruption.
NAN reports that voting, sorting and counting have ended in most of the 43 polling units in the ward.
Results are already trickling into the Collation Centre, situated at Sango Senior Secondary School, Agege, where the winner will be returned.
The Chairman of Agege Local Government, Ganiyu Egunjobi, and some political party agents, decried voter apathy at the runoff election.
Mr Egunjobi, in his assessment, told journalists that in spite of sensitisation, voters refused to participate.
He said: “Concerning the low turnout, we cannot expect less than what we have witnessed today, because it has been a habit of our people.
“This is because the electorate do not take the chairmanship and councillorship elections very serious.
“However, we will continue to sensitise the electorate on the need to come out to exercise their franchise during elections,” he said.
Mr Egunjobi described the poll as peaceful, credible and violence-free.
He, however, said that some miscreants made attempts to disrupt the exercise, but he had to call on security operatives to restore peace.
Also speaking , Babatunde Ogunleye, the APC agent at polling unit 040, situated on Adedosu St., noted that though the exercise had been cool and calm, the turnout was not impressive.
Mr Ogunleye attributed the apathy to lack of political enlightenment and education.
“There is a very low turnout. I am not even sure people are aware of the runoff.
“People are not particular about the election, they are going about their businesses. They don’t feel concerned,” he said.
Olubunmi Adedapo, the PDP agent at the same polling unit, said the electorate showed little concern for the exercise, probably because they had lost trust in the electoral process.
Biodun Alogi, PDP Supervisory Agent for polling unit 039, said the turnout was low because there was no restrictions on movement.
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