A reign of confusion, which deteriorated into violence and bloodletting, yesterday, marred the scheduled local government primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State.
Similarly, reports of fraud, stuffing of ballot boxes, destruction of electoral materials were recorded in all the 57 local government areas and local council development areas in which the elections were scheduled to hold.
Guns and other dangerous objects were freely and openly brandished, causing many voters to scamper to safety.
For instance, in Ward C1 in Central Lagos, election did not take place as the ballot box was taken away.
Agents of one of the leading candidates for office of Chairman Lagos Island East, Mr. Adewale Ojora, were beaten to a state of coma.
Officials of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), openly took sides with Ojora’s opponent, Mr. Toye Olusi to prevent Ojora’s supporters from casting their votes.
After the ballots were counted in Ward B2, Ojora scored 226 votes, while 774 votes were recorded in favour of Olusi.
The electoral officers insisted that the agents sign the result on a plain sheet of paper, because they had no official result sheet.
Incidentally, the Deputy Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr. Wasiu Eshilokun in C1 and Hon. Rasheed Giwa in Ward A2 Oluwole appeared to command the respect of the rampaging gang of hoodlums, who disrupted election in Ward B1. No voting took place in these wards.
Many of the results that were later announced were alleged to have been conjured in private homes, like that of Alhaji Yemisi Coker.
Widespread use of fake membership cards and multiple voting were allegedly reported in Wards A1 and A4. These incidents were said to have been aided by manipulated membership register to deny many party members an opportunity to vote.
Ojora, however, narrated his experience thus: “At about noon, when the primary election processes barely kicked off, I cast my vote at Ward A1, Anwar Islam Primary School, Elegbata, Lagos Island (the APC Primary Election venue).
“The first shock of the day was the fact that my Membership Registration Form was not recorded on the Party Register appropriately against the Serial Number; but my name was squeezed in somewhere on the Party Register. The second shock was non-availability (sic) of registered nembers’ names on the Party Register. Clearly, what was brought to Ward A1 venue was not the 2021 updated Party Register.
“In another instance, a female Ward Exco member was caught on video, ‘voting’ (writing Olusi on the Ballot Paper) for a member, while she was also giving out multiple ballot papers to voters, who came to vote my opponent. I saw Hon. Lookman Thomas, the serving Councillor in Ward A1 at the primary election venue wearing Toye Olusi Campaign Cap.
“He was openly inducing voters to vote for Toye Olusi! Members’ phones were snatched and smashed on the floor in a bid to prevent iron cast evidence of their widespread irregularities. The number of voters that turned out was less than 100, but they thumb printed more that nine booklets of ballot papers for Olusi with serious intimidation under the watch of gun-wielding thugs.”