Lagos, July 24, 2021 (NAN) Elections into the 20 Local Government Areas (LGA) and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDA) of Lagos State took off on a slow start on Saturday with voters trickling in at polling centres across the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondents covering the polls report that while some officials of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) arrived promptly, others got to the polling centres more than one hour after the scheduled time for the election.
Some officials of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) in Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State however attributed their lateness to polling centres to non-availability of card readers.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday during the Lagos State Local Government Area election at Ward G, Polling Unit 040\041, Ogudu Junior Grammar school, GRA, Ogudu, that they had use manual identification for the elections.
LASIEC officials arrived the Ward G, Polling unit 040/041 centre at 9.20 a.m., where an APC Chairmanship candidate, Mr Moyosore Ogunlewe, was expected to vote.
The presiding officer at Unit 041, Ward G, Mr Abiodun Bisayo, said the delay was due to the fact that presiding officers had to wait for LASIEC officials to give them card readers, stressing that they left for the voting centres when they were told to use manual identification.
“It is not our fault for coming late, the LASIEC officers are responsible. We have all other materials, except the card readers,” he said.
His counterpart at Unit 040, Ms Jenipher Osayande, corroborated his claim, stressing that they had other materials for the elections, except the card reader.
“We are going to use manual identification as there is no card reader,” she said.
Madam Ebun Babatunde, 83, told NAN that she got to the venue at about 5.30 a.m. from her residence in Ikorodu.
She said she registered at Ogudu but relocated about two years ago, stressing that she left Ikorodu early in the morning due to the restriction of movement by the Lagos State government.
Babatunde said she came to vote because it was her civic responsibility, calling on those to be voted for to represent the people and not their selfish interests.
She urged voters to always vote for the best persons that would do well for the people. “I have participated in all elections in Nigeria because I believe my vote will count.
“Even in the Bible, some people were elected. Election is biblical. I am not happy as at now (8.45 a.m.) that the LASIEC officials are not here yet. They told us to come on time.”
Voting started at the units at 9.50 a.m. with less than 20 people around.
Lagos State Government had announced restriction of movement across the state between 8a.m. and 3p.m. on Saturday to enable a hitch-free conduct of elections into positions of Chairmen and Councillors in all the state’s 57 LGAs and LCDAs.
Accreditation and voting began at 9. 10a.m. at Zion African School, Alaagba, Iyana-Ipajaa. Ward F 026 and 027 Polling Units in Agege, but there were few voters on ground.
A councillorship candidate for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Bolaji Ogunojo, decried the lack of preparedness by LASIEC for the election.
He said this was responsible for the voter apathy being witnessed in the election.
Police and Neighbourhood Corps personnel were present at some polling units awaiting the arrival of voters and electoral officers.
Few traders displayed their wares at the polling centres, hoping to sell to voters that might eventually turn out for the poll.
Meanwhile, commercial motorcycles were seen plying the Lagos/Abeokuta Expressway in spite of the movement restriction order by the state government.