Late arrival of LASIEC polling officers, low turnout mar Lagos council polls

The Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), on Saturday conducted local council polls across the 20 local government areas and 37 local council development areas in the state.

According to the chairman of LASIEC, retired Justice Ayotunde Phillips, “the election started behind the scheduled time of 8 am, and 15 political parties and their candidates contesting for chairmanship and councillorship seats across the 13, 325 polling units in the state.”

The exercise, Tribune Online gathered witnessed the late arrival of polling officers and low turnout of voters as youths in their numbers were seen loitering around polling units without adhering to the state’s government COVID-19 safety protocols while others engaging in economic activities.

At unit 10, Ward D in Agboyi Ketu LCDA, there was voter apathy as only one voter was accredited as of 9 am out of 84 registered voters.

The Presiding Officer, Atobatele Sijuade disclosed that the card reader that is to be used is in perfect condition and it works without any hitch.

Also at polling unit 128, ward D which has 671 total registered voters, voting and accreditation started at 9:30 am with the use of the card reader.

According to the presiding officer, Ibrahim Bintu, the card reader which initially malfunctioned was used to accreditation voters who trickled in to exercise their franchise.

The incumbent chairman and candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Agboyi Ketu LCDA, Mr Dele Osinowo who was accredited at polling unit 128, Ward D, around 9;45 am expressed confidence in the process.

According to him, LASIEC and the police have put all logistics in place to ensure free, fair and credible polls.

“So far, the election is going on smoothly. The logistics put in place by LASIEC is effective as they have distributed the election materials timely and effectively. All polling unit agents are on the ground to conduct the polls as credible and fair in adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocol. I want to say that LASIEC is doing a great job but the system is improving at every election and Lagos is up and doing.

Truly, there is voter apathy but I believe there is still enough time for people to come out to vote. As I was coming to vote, I see people around and I believe before the end of the voting time they will come around. Maybe they are waiting for me and since I have voted, I am sure that they will all come out here to vote. On security, we have done series of enlightenment and the police have put a lot of logistics in place to ensure that security is not breached. I am sure the exercise will go on smoothly without any hindrance,” he added.

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