Low turnout mars Lagos by-election as CP lauds peaceful conduct of voters

By Olaolu Oladipo, Yemi Oresanya and Halimah Oruku-Lawal, Lagos

The rescheduled by election for the vacant Ifako-Ijaye Federal Constituency of Lagos State has witnessed low voter turn out.

This is just as the state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni has expressed satisfaction with the security situation in the areas where the election is taking place.

Voters in the in the constituency were casting their ballots in a by-election to pick their representative in the House of Representatives following the death of Mr Elijah Adewale, who formerly represented them.

Adewale died in Abuja on July 20.

In all, six political parties announced their participation in the exercise with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) deploying its staff in neighboring local government areas as well as 3,440 corps members as presiding officers.

The political parties that are taking part in the exercise according to INEC are the Action Alliance, Alliance for Democracy, African Democratic Party, All Progressive Congress, People’s Democratic Party and Social Democratic Party.

Unconfirmed reports suggests that the PDP has opted out of the exercise for come reasons yet to be ascertained as at the time of filing this reports.

Addressing newsmen, the Administrative Secretary of INEC in Lagos State, Mr. Clement Oha only 268,942 of the 340,634 registered voters possessed permanent voter’s card (PVCs) and are eligible to cast their ballots at the exercise.

Owoseni told newsmen that having visited 90 per cent of the election area, he was happy that all was calm, saying everything was going on well.

Though the state government had deployed thousands of security personnel to ensure security during the election, many of the polling units by our correspondent witnessed low turnout of voters as many of the residents stayed away.

Rather, residents were seen going about their daily activities not minding the fact that the state police command had announced a restriction of movement in the constituency between 12 midnight on Friday and the period of election.

The restriction itself caused serious traffic gridlock within the constituency and adjourning areas with motorists spending hours before making their ways to their respective destinations.

Residents of some areas making up the constituency such as Ogba, Agege, Ifako-Ijaiye and Iju Ishaga lamented that there was low publicity regarding the exercise as they were not aware of the bye-election.

 

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