The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is at it again, playing games at the gubernatorial election in Lagos State. Just like it happened
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is at it again, playing games at the gubernatorial election in Lagos State. Just like it happened during the February 25th presidential election where some Nigerians were disenfranchised and were unable to perform their civic duty as a result of the deliberate refusal of INEC staff to show up at some polling units, this time, it is staff of the commission refusing to set up their equipment and voting materials at selected designated polling units. At Victoria Garden City, VGC, Lagos, INEC are in a standoff with residents of the estate over the refusal of staff of the commission to set up at the approved designated polling unit which is the car park of the estate. Instead, they decided to set up and conduct the voting exercise right in front of the estate gate. The car park was designated the approved polling unit of the estate by the commission and has been so since 2014. It was at the same place staff of the commission set up for the presidential elections about three weeks ago but the over 3000 registered voters in the estate were dismayed when they arrived the car park to cast their votes only to discover that staff of the commission chose to set up elsewhere. The residents have insisted that they would only cast their votes at the commission’s designated polling unit and not wherever the staff choses to set up. Some residents promptly reached out to the commission’s headquarters in Abuja and were informed that the Lagos staff cannot legitimately and unilaterally set up polling units outside of the commission’s designated polling units. But the INEC officials have remained adamant, insisting that they would remain outside the gate of the estate, thus endangering the lives of voters who may likely be attacked by thugs sympathetic to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and votes rendered null and void. During the presidential election, the same INEC officials assigned to VGC accredited people for voting without the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS and after the voting exercise, refused to upload the results immediately, blaming poor telecommunications network for their inability to upload the results. No doubt the fear of being trounced has forced APC to resort to all sorts of shenanigans including compromising INEC officials.
And just like in Victoria Garden City, VGC, residents of Abraham Adesanya Estate in Lagos State have equally been disenfranchised by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC during the gubernatorial and House of Assembly election. Residents had trooped out to cast their votes at their designated polling unit which is right inside their estate just by the estate gate. On getting there, they were shocked to see that INEC officials in cahoots with thugs sympathetic to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC wanted to set up ‘shop’ outside the estate gate. The residents vehemently opposed this insisting that they would cast their votes where they did during the February 25th presidential election for security purpose as they felt safer doing so. But an INEC official kept insisting that he was instructed from the headquarters to set up outside the estate gate and not inside the estate that is apparently secured. When asked to convince the residents of allowing him set up shop outside the gate by showing the said instruction, he left to make a long call. He returned to the residents with some police officers who after listening to both parties, insisted that INEC official listen to the residents who were in the majority. But to their amazement, the official got into his car and drove off and as at the time of this report (2.00pm) when voting should have ended, is yet to return. Meanwhile, residents already helped INEC officials to set up shop by the estate gate to make things easier for them.