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Election in Lagos

19.03.2023 Featured ANALYSIS: Trends of Violence in Lagos Guber Election

Published 19th Mar, 2023

By Joseph Adeiye

The March 18 gubernatorial election in Lagos was marred by multiple incidents of violence at several polling units.

Idowu Owohunwa, the commissioner of police in Lagos, had told voters to exercise their civic right without fear, and that he would take responsibility for the state’s security.

However, officers of the Lagos Police Command demonstrated inactivity in the face of attacks reported from different locations within the state. Still, Owohunwa told Channels TV reporters that violence was not widespread in Lagos on Saturday.

“It is true that we have recorded instances of violence in some areas, but the reality is that it is not as widespread to affect the entire dynamics of the process,” Owohunwa said on Saturday evening.

READ MORE: Journalists Attacked in Rivers, Ogun, Lagos During Governorship Election

TV REPORTERS ASSAULTED AT POLLING UNIT

@falzthebahdguy, a musician and rapper, tweeted that he had voted in a peaceful polling unit around the Ikate area of Lagos on Saturday morning.

Just over four hours after, @falzthebahdguy sent a tweet to complain about violence against journalists.

“A couple of Arise TV journalists were very badly beaten up at my polling unit. Of COURSE, in the presence of Police officers,” @falzthebahdguy tweeted.

Arise TV had made a report with footage of their reporter claiming he was driven to an unknown location. The reporter had a bloodied left eye.

OPC CONFRONTED THE ARMY FOR POLLING UNIT TERRITORY

Officers of the Nigerian Army had to resort to shooting on the street when members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) initiated an attack at a polling unit in Lagos.

FIJ reported how OPC members unleashed mayhem at the Oluwadare House 23 polling unit in the Fola Agora area of Lagos State.

The violent incident began when an OPC supporter spotted a lady wearing a cream colour dress. He thought she was Igbo and told her to leave the polling unit.

Military officials arrived afterwards. The OPC officials laid siege on the street and planned to attack a building they claimed had an Igbo landlord.

READ MORE: ‘I Don’t Want to Die’ — Lagos Voter Harassed by OPC Members Shares Experience

AGO PALACE WAY AGAIN

Hoodlums attacked more than one polling unit in Ago Palace Way on Saturday.

Footage from a live television report showed the aftermath of one polling unit attack off Ago Palace way. The attack ruined the voting process, as many ballot papers were already shredded.

Eyewitnesses said that the thugs told voters to go home if they were not ready to vote the All Progressives Congress (APC). After curses and threats to life, these thugs snatched and destroyed the voting materials.

THUGS CAME IN STATE GOVERNMENT VEHICLE TO DISRUPT VOTING IN LEKKI

Prince Enwerem, a reality TV celebrity, shared videos of thugs who smashed ballot boxes in Osapa London PU 021 around Lekki.

Enwerem posted a couple of videos but fellow voters sent videos of the same attack from other angles of the street. One of the videos showed that the vehicle that brought the thugs had a state government-issued number plate.

“We were voting peacefully until the INEC polling officers suddenly told us that we couldn’t vote anymore, that the server was down, we should give them some time,” Enwerem tweeted.

“Few minutes later, these guys showed up and scattered the ballot boxes, and left while the police officers watched. We picked them up again and tried to continue but the polling officers had changed outfits and were trying to sneak out. We said no, they should continue, and they refused.

“Before we knew it, the boys returned in 3 buses, this time, with police escorts who shot into the air. The thugs proceeded to chase everyone away while screaming ‘Omo Igbo wants to take over.'”

READ ALSO: ‘Tomorrow Is Going to Be Tough’ — Okada Rider’s Verdict on Ogun Gubernatorial Election

AJEGUNLE INTIMIDATION

Residents of the Ajegunle area of Lagos reported that armed thugs warned them not to come out and vote on Saturday morning.

The same armed thugs stormed a polling unit around Wilmer in Ajegunle around midday. Voters shared videos of ballot boxes and ballot papers scattered in the gutter.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State Governor and APC gubernatorial candidate, announced his participation in the election process on Saturday morning.

Sanwo-Olu has, however, failed to address the violence that marred the election in Lagos.

At press time, only members of the opposing parties and the media had condemned electoral violence in Lagos on Saturday.

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Published 19th Mar, 2023

By Joseph Adeiye

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