Fola Agoro Lagos

18.03.2023 Featured ‘I Don’t Want to Die’ — Lagos Voter Harassed by OPC Members Shares Experience

Published 18th Mar, 2023

By Opeyemi Lawal

Rosemary (not real name), an indigene of Osun State, had just arrived at her polling unit when a man wearing a cream colour jalamia of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), a Yoruba vigilante group, approached and told her, “This is Yoruba land.”

Rosemary, who was on the phone when the man met her, said she did not understand what he meant, because she was Yoruba.

“I’m Yoruba; I’m from Osun State,” she told FIJ.

READ ALSO: Soldiers, OPC Members Clash at Lagos Polling Unit

Earlier, FIJ reported unrest in the Fola Agoro area of Lagos State, sparked by OPC boys who warned against voting for the Labour Party (LP) and intimidated Igbo people or perceived LP supporters.

It was in harassing Rosemary that the unrest was triggered. The policewoman stationed at the polling unit called for security reinforcement, and more security officials arrived. A shoot-out immediately ensued, with soldiers firing at OPC members and the latter responding by throwing bottles.

Rosemary told FIJ how one of the OPC members, a young boy, took her phone from her and opened the bank apps on it. She said she had recorded a video, and he was trying to find it. “He was going through many apps and opened my bank apps on my phone,” she said.

When she asked him why, he asked her if he did not have a right to check her bank account. “I told him you have no right to check my phone,” said Rosemary.

READ ALSO: Thugs to Lagos Voters: ‘If You Want to Vote LP, Go to Anambra’

She said another young man, also an OPC member, then asked if she wanted to die.

“He asked me if I wanted to die for my parents in front of everybody. And they didn’t even know who I was going to vote for. I didn’t wear any political attire, so what gave me out as a threat to them? Just because of how I look. And I’m Yoruba, both parents. But because I look a certain way…”

She also told FIJ how there were fewer voters at the polling unit when compared with the turnout during the February 25 presidential election.

She said, “during the presidential election, a mammoth crowd came out to vote. Now, there are fewer people, and they are still intimidating people that came out to vote.”

Unlike during the presidential polls, Rosemary retired to her home after casting her vote. She told FIJ, “Usually, I’m supposed to wait till votes are counted, but I have to go home because I feel threatened. I don’t want to die for my parents.”

Published 18th Mar, 2023

By Opeyemi Lawal


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