It’s a rape of democracy – Bode George
Electoral body raises alarm over thugs’ invasion of Abia office
Fixes new date for election in Kwande LGA of Benue
By Abdullateef Aliyu (Lagos), Abbas Jimoh (Abuja) & Hope Abah Emmanuel (Makurdi)
The Lagos State chapter of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has called for the cancellation of results of the governorship and House of Assembly elections held in Lagos last Saturday.
Chief Supo Shonibare, Afenifere’s leader in Lagos State; and the State Chairman, Otunba Tunde Onakoya, in a statement yesterday, said the organisation was inundated with reports from its members, agents and observers from the field that the polls were characterised by violence, ballot box snatching and voter suppression.
Part of the statement reads: “In the 13,325 polling units in Lagos State, various acts were observed and widely reported that impinged on the integrity of the elections and rendered the results grossly unreliable. These results cannot be described as a reflection of the will of the people of Lagos.
“The only option open to the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) is to reschedule elections at those polling units where the process was so blatantly subverted by an unholy alliance of subversives, including INEC staff, security agents and hoodlums.
“These acts of thuggery were pervasive in at least 11 local government areas. After voting, election materials were snatched at many polling units, and many instances of this were captured on video.
“We, therefore, call on the Resident Commissioner of INEC in Lagos to consult with INEC headquarters to cancel the processes in all the affected polling units in Ibeju-Lekki, Eti-Osa, Surulere, Shomolu, Ikeja, Ifako-Ijaiye, Oshodi- Isolo, Ojo, Amuwo- Odofin, Agege and Alimosho, and to enable rescheduled elections in these polling units at the earliest possible time.”
It’s a rape of democracy – Bode George
Similarly, a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, has described the widespread reports of violence, ballot box snatching and voters’ suppression in last Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections in Lagos State as depressing and a rape of democracy.
Speaking to newsmen yesterday in Lagos, he said, “The reports we got are very depressing. We have reports from Kosofe, Somolu, Mushin, Ikeja, Surulere and Aja. We can’t turn this country into a group of people under mob rule. People cannot exercise their rights very freely.
“There were reports of snatching of ballot boxes; that is an infringement. We can’t exist if people cannot freely exercise their right to vote. Area boys are taking over polling units in Ward C Ikeja, someone just called me now that there is shooting and he is hiding in a shop at Ikeja.
“All over Lagos State the story is the same as voters kept calling for help and no one seems to be coming. It is a sad situation and a rape of democracy.”
INEC raises alarm over thugs’ invasion of Abia office
Meanwhile, INEC raised alarm that political thugs invaded its Obingwa LGA in Abia State.
The commission disclosed this on its Twitter handle yesterday, saying the office was invaded by thugs on Sunday afternoon.
The tweet reads: “Thugs have invaded our Obingwa Local Government Area office in Abia State. Security agencies have been alerted. The commission is monitoring the situation and will issue a statement shortly.”
INEC fixes new date for election in Kwande LGA in Benue
In Benue State, INEC yesterday said a new date would be fixed for the conduct of election in Kwande LGA.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Prof Samuel Egwu, said that at the beginning of collation of results from the 23 LGAs of the state the elections in Kwande was put off due to printing error on ballot sheets.
He explained that the ballot papers for Kwande West were labelled Kwande East while those of Kwande East were labelled Kwande West, noting that the errors were reflected in the result sheets of the two constituencies.
Egwu said the mistake did not affect the ballot papers of the governorship, but that when the mistake was discovered in the morning of the elections at the point of distribution, the stakeholders of the area took a decision not to allow the entire exercise to continue.