The much awaited local government election has finally come to an end in Lagos State, though with a lots of voter apathy, amidst late commencement of the election.
The election which was mostly peaceful in the places monitored, the turnout of voters was very poor in most places, but was impressive in some others like Alimosho.
In Maryland, Ojota, Ketu and parts of Ikeja, voting materials did not arrive until about 11am despite that the election was billed to commence at 8am.
However, at about 2pm, voting materials had not arrived at a polling station on Kola Adeyeye Street, in Ikosi, Ketu, even though the Police and party agents were there waiting for the LASIEC officials, but when the local government LASIEC was contacted they insisted that the electoral officers have since been dispatched with the necessary materials.
Also in Ikosi Ketu, in a polling unit in Abeni close, off Jimoh Balogun Road, a wrong ballot paper was taken there at about 11am and a replacement was not brought until about 1.30pm.
However, chairman of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), Justice Ayotunde Phillips attributed the delayed take off of the voting process in some parts of the state to heavy downpour that started in the morning of the day.
Speaking with newsmen while monitoring some polling units in Yaba area of the state, she said the downpour affected the movements of electoral materials.
Justice Philips appealed to those who were yet to vote on the affected area to exercise patience as the commission was addressing the situation.
She assured that all eligible voters would vote, as materials were being deployed to the affected areas, adding that the commission would allow some people to vote beyond the 3pm deadline if there was the need to do so.
“The delay in the delivery of materials in some areas, hence voting, is caused by the heavy downpour. However, we are addressing the situation and we are assuring that everybody in the affected areas will vote.
“Once people have been accredited and are on queue, they will be allowed to vote even after 3pm,” she said.
While expressing satisfaction with the peaceful conduct in most areas, Justice Phillips said there were few incidences of violence in some areas, but said security agents had quelled the situation.
In Ikeja, after casting his vote in Ikeja the polls at 12:15p.m. at Polling Unit 026 in Ward F, Ikeja LGA, former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is also the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, said that the complaints and protests that followed the party’s primaries for council elections in the state showed its popularity.
Tinubu told newsmen, “You must have competitiveness if you are a popular party,’’ adding that complaints are normal in democracy
He expressed confidence that the protests and complaints would not affect the chances of the party in the council elections.
“There is no way you won’t face the turbulence of democracy – the twists and turns and the complaints.
“As we have 57 LGAs and LCDAs, the problem is that, to every slot, you have an average of 13 aspirants. That is the popularity of our party.
“We can only have one chairman; we can only have one vice; we can only have one ward councillor and you have 18 people in a ward fighting for the seat of a councillor.
“Conflict and conflict resolution are the hallmark of democracy. You have to find a way to resolve all conflicts, and we have done so,” Tinubu said.