By Joan Odafe
A group, Concerned Residents of Amuwo Odofin, on Wednesday in Lagos staged a peaceful protest to register their dissatisfaction with the conduct of the Saturday local government elections in the area.
The group called on the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) to cancel the exercise and order a rerun, citing electoral malpractices.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that LASIEC on Tuesday presented Certificates of Return to the 57 council chairmen elected in the July 24 polls.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates won all 57 chairmanship seats, with Mr Valentine Buraimoh returned as victorious in Amuwo Odofin LGA.
LASIEC had described the election as ‘pretty good’, though with pockets of hitches, noting that the exercise was peaceful and without any major uprising and rioting.
But the group, which held a peaceful protest in Festac Town, Amuwo Odofin Local Government, demanded that the election should be cancelled.
It alleged that the election was a far cry from public expectations from LASIEC.
It further alleged that the exercise was plagued by electoral malpractices.
One of the conveners of the group, Mr Mayowa Ademola, expressed concern over what he referred to as “violent elections” in the area.
“It’s getting too much. It’s not right that we can’t joyfully have an election.
“Many people didn’t come out to vote because of fear of what may happen,” he said.
Ademola opined that LASIEC would disenfranchise many people if the election was not cancelled.
A resident, Mr Fidelis Mamuyovwi, claimed that he was forcefully carried out of the council because he insisted that the correct results be announced.
“After the election, we went to the council but we were not allowed to enter the collation centre,” he said.
Mamuyovwi, who was also a PDP agent, said that a voter, who tracked his votes to the collation centre, raised alarm when figures that were announced were different from what was recorded at the polling unit.
Another protester, Mrs. Anthonia Monday, said she was part of a group of residents who protested at the council secretariat when some party agents were denied entry into the collation centre.
“The results were collated and announced at the polling units but the figures changed at the final collation point,” she claimed.
She urged LASIEC to cancel the July 24 elections and conduct a rerun that would be free and fair.