Thursday, June 17, 2021

Lagos APC primaries: Hoodlums invade voting centre, flog, chase away voters


Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
tiamin rice

There is tension in Epe on Tuesday morning as residents trooped out en masse to vote in the APC governorship primaries in Lagos state.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that incumbent Governor Akinwunmi Ambode who is seeking the APC ticket hails from the Epe Local Government Area of Lagos.

Mr Ambode is jostling for the ticket with Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

NAN reports that APC members in Epe were at their various wards to participate in the direct primary election as scheduled by the party in Lagos state in several wards visited early in the day.

Voting and accreditation had yet to begin as at when NAN visited some centres at about 10.35 a.m, but members hanged out at the polling unit/wards.

Some of the wards for the voting exercise include Recreation Centre, Poka Primary School, Ikosi-Ejirin, Ogunmodede, Ibonwon, Odo-giri amongl others.

Also, security operatives have been positioned in every nook and cranny of Epe to ensure peaceful voting exercise.

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In some parts of Alimosho Local Government, NAN correspondent who monitored the exercise at Ward 9, Parakoyi, Ipaja-Ayobo in the council observed that hundreds of party faithful had been on ground before 9 a.m.

NAN also reports that the accreditation of party members with party membership cards commenced at exactly 9: 35 am.

NAN reporter observed that the exercise began under the watch of an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), electoral committee and security agents.

However, Adenike Olusanya, a party agent for incumbent Governor Akinwunmi Ambode told NAN that a lot of Ambode’s supporters were not accredited because they possessed only membership slip.

Mr Olusanya who frowned at the alleged disenfranchisement said that the primary election could not stand.

“Many of our members are outside, not allowed in, this cannot stand. This is no election at all,” she said.

However, the voting process of the primary was disrupted for a while at Ward G North, Abesan in Alimosho, as thugs chased away voters.

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NAN reports that the thugs numbering about 15 invaded the Abesan High School, venue of the exercise around 9.45, flogging voters, preventing them from being accredited.

The motive of the hoodlums, as well as their sponsors, could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report.

Some policemen at the venue later responded to the situation by arresting some of the hoodlums, restoring normalcy.

NAN, however, observed that there was a large turnout of party members waiting to cast their votes for either Governor Akinwunmi Ambode or Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

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A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) check at the Ikeja Ward C,  PU 003, where APC national Leader, Sen. Bola Tinubu is billed to cast his vote, indicated that accreditation commenced around 9.06 a.m.

At the ward, located on Makinde Street, Alausa,  Ikeja,  which comprises  Alausa,  Olushosun and Oregun areas, some of the party members told NAN that they were very eager to participate in the direct primaries system of voting.

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They said most of them left their businesses for the day to arrive the venue as early as 8. 00 a. m.

It was discovered that Sanwo-Olu’s roll-up banners  and posters adorned the ward, while Ambode’s posters and banners were not available.

Many of the party members at the ward wore T-shirts and caps with Sanwo-Olu’s photographs were embossed on them, while inscriptions such as ‘Fun Igbega Ipinle Eko’; ‘Sanwo-Olu ni jo’; and ‘Vote Sanwo-Olu’.

Also at Wards A and D in Iba Local Council Development Area of Lagos, where the Deputy Gov., Dr Idiat Adebule, is also billed to vote, as at 10.00 a. m., accreditation was yet to start.

Party members were seen waiting for the party electoral officials to arrive.

Heavy security as policeman and officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were on ground to ensure orderliness.


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