Low Turnout As LG Elections Hold In Lagos, Ogun


Local government elections held in Lagos and Ogun states on July 24, 2021 were shunned by many voters, according to election observers.

 

Many eligible voters failed to turn up as local government elections were held in Lagos and Ogun states on Saturday.

According to some voters who spoke to Channels Television, a perceived lack of transparency and a growing trust deficit plaguing the conduct of elections in the country contributed to the widespread disinterest.

The exercise was also marred by the late arrival of voting materials in several polling centres.

In Ogun State, voting had to be extended by one hour to make up for the late arrivals.

However, the polls were largely peaceful, according to Channels Television correspondents who monitored the exercise.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu commended the voting process in the Ikoyi area of Lagos where he cast his vote.

Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun also praised the electorate and election officials for the peaceful conduct of the polls.

However, Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila, who voted in the Surulere part of Lagos, lamented the failure of card readers in his polling unit.

Lateness, poor Covid protocols

In Ogun state, at least 12 political parties vied for votes.

In Lagos, the number was 15, according to election observer Yiaga Africa.

The All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party were expected to field the most candidates in the polls.

In its observation notes, Yiaga Africa observed the late opening of polls and deployment of polling materials in Lagos.

However, polling officials, essential election materials and security personnel were observed to have been eventually deployed as expected.

Meanwhile, it was also observed that the majority of the political parties did not deploy party agents to the polls and there were no strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols despite fears of an imminent third wave triggered by the Delta variant of the virus.

In Shomolu local government area of Lagos, there was violent disruption of the election process over the inclusion of a party name on the ballot, Yiaga Africa observers noted.

Also in Badagry, an observer was reportedly beaten up for recording an attempt to snatch a ballot box by a party agent.

‘Necessary extension’

In Ogun State, the election was extended by one hour over the late arrival of election materials.

Briefing journalists, the Chairman of the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission, Mr Babatunde Osibodu said he had received reports that election materials got to some centres late, a development which necessitated the extension.

However, Governor Abiodun, who cast his vote at Itaosanyin Ward Two in Iperu, Ikenne Local Government, expressed satisfaction with the general conduct of the exercise.

In Abeokuta the state capital, security operatives had enforced the restriction of movement earlier imposed by the state government.

 


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