Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Dapo Abiodun
The Nigeria Police Force on Friday said human and material resources had been deployed to provide adequate security before, during and after the council elections scheduled to hold in Lagos and Ogun states on Saturday (today).
They also warned they would not tolerate violence and thuggery among politicians and their supporters.
In Lagos, the exercise, which would be conducted by the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission to elect chairmen and councillors, is expected to be held across the 20 local government areas and 35 local council development areas of the state.
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The state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, said the Command had put measures in place to enforce the restriction of movement across the state between 6am and 3pm, adding that only those on election duty and essential services on the election day would be exempted.
“We assure the good people of Lagos State, LASIEC officials, candidates, accredited election observers and other actors in the election of adequate security before, during and after the elections,” he was quoted as saying in a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer in the State, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi.
Similarly, the Ogun State Police Command said it would deploy special weapons and tactics, anti-kidnapping and anti-cultism and police mobile force teams for the local government election in the state.
The Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission had announced that movement would be restricted between 8am and 2pm on Saturday while the election lasts.
The Commissioner of Police, CP Edward Ajogun, in a statement on Thursday, said the command was working with other security agencies and would not give room for electoral malpractices or violence.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress and the People Democratic Party have expressed their readiness to participate in the Lagos State council election.
The state chapter of the APC said residents had been mobilised to participate in the exercise, urging them to see the election as an opportunity to exercise their civic right to vote.
On the disagreements that ensued from the party’s chairmanship and councillorship primaries held in May in Lagos, the APC spokesman, Oluseye Oladejo said, “The party has different levels of reconciling members in cases of conflict from primary elections and other issues and members have availed themselves fully of these mechanisms within the party. And the party is united going into battle tomorrow.”
But the state chapter of the PDP expressed concern over the independence of LASIEC.
The spokesperson for the PDP in the state, Taofik Gani, said, “There is nothing we can do as far as I want to be realistic. They (APC) are in control of the (state) independent electoral commission. They are in control of neighbourhood security. They are in control of the police; they are in control of everything. So, it is not even a case of probability; it is a case of certainty that unless they don’t want to, they are likely to clear all the seats when they are defeated or not.
Gani, however, said the opposition party would field candidates for all the chairmanship and councillorship positions.
But reacting, the spokesperson for the APC in Lagos said accusing the ruling party of a plan to rig the election “amounts to a circus show”.
But the Chairman of LASIEC, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, reiterated its commitment to conducting a successful, free, fair and credible local government election which would begin at 8am.
Phillips said, “The development that leads to a free, fair and credible election starts with the promotion of public confidence and trust in the process. This can only be achieved through the active involvement of critical stakeholders like the press being the fourth estate of the realm.”
She also said the election would be conducted with the use of smart card readers, adding that COVID-19 safety protocols would be enforced during the exercise.
The LASIEC chairman said, “The voting process starts at 8 am and ends at 3pm on Saturday; while those on the queue as of3pm shall be attended to. Whoever is not on the queue after 3pm will not be attended to.
PDP factions fight dirty as APC expresses confidence in Ogun LG election
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress in Ogun State has expressed confidence to win the local government elections slated for Saturday in the state.
But the PDP state chairman, Sikirulahi Ogundele, has accused the state independent electoral commission of playing the script of the APC by allegedly recognising a faction of the party led by Leke Shittu.
Ogundele said that PDP would boycott the council poll due to a court judgement.
But Shittu said the party was set to participate in the election contrary to the decision of the Ogindele-led PDP to boycott the election.
APC failed in many Ogun LGAs, says Abiodun
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has admitted that his party, the APC in the state, failed in many local government areas in the state before his emergence as governor of the state.
Speaking while addressing APC loyalists in Abeokuta North, Abiodun said, “When I was campaigning, it was difficult for me to campaign because I didn’t have anything to say. That was because I was campaigning on the platform of the APC, and the party has failed in so many local governments.
“I didn’t have anything to say but I said to you, I made promises and I am glad to say that all the promises I made to you, I have either fulfilled them or I am fulfilling them. This is a promise-keeping administration.”