Eligible voters in Lagos and Ogun States will file out to elect their preferred candidates and party in the local government elections schedule to hold in both neighbouring states today.
Already, both state governments have placed restrictions on human and vehicular movements to allow for a smooth running of the scheduled polls.
While Lagos State said movement would be restricted between 8 am and 3pm, Ogun State pegged its restriction between 8am and 2pm.
The Lagos Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotosho, in a statement on Thursday said, “The Lagos State Government has announced restriction of movement across the State between the hours of 8am and 3pm on Saturday, July, 24, 2021.
“The restriction is to enable the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission conduct hitch-free election into positions of chairmen and councillors in all the 57 local governments and local council development areas.”
He added that, “The restriction would facilitate the ease of movement of the electorate, election materials and LASIEC officials for the sanctity of the election, effective monitoring and enhanced security.”
Similarly, the Chairman of the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission, Babatunde Osibodu, said there would be restriction of human and vehicular movements between 8am and 2pm.
“We are going to restrict movement on Saturday between 8am and 2pm during the Saturday local government election,” he said.
Osibodu said the commission had put in place necessary machinery to ensure the release of all results at the commission’s headquarters within few hours after the elections.
He said, “We are ready to conduct a hitch-free election into the vacant seats of chairmen and councillors in the 20 councils across the state.”
PDP boycotts poll in Ogun
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State has withdrawn from the poll.
The Chairman of the party in the state, Sikirulai Ogundele, said this in on Thursday in Abeokuta.
Ogundele said the withdrawal was sequel to a judgment of an Ogun State High Court between him and the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission.
Ogundele had dragged OGSIEC to court for dealing with a faction loyal to late Buruji Kashamu of the PDP in the State.
“Sequel to the judgement of the Ogun State High Court, Isabo in suit no M/55/2021 between Sikirulai Ogundele VS OGSIEC, affirming the consent judgement of the Federal High Court, Abuja as delivered on 22nd June, 2021, the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party under the able Chairmanship of Dr Sikirulai Ogundele hereby make the following pronouncement:
“That consequence upon the said judgement in suit M/55/2021, Ogun State PDP withdraws its participation in the Ogun State Local Government Election which is scheduled for Saturday 24th July, 2021.
“That all candidates of the party who have been earlier screened by the party to contest in the LG election and all our teeming party members and loyal supporters are enjoined to remain calm and sustain their confidence in the leadership of the party,” he said.
Residents in fear of possible violence
Residents in both states have however expressed fear of possible violence. Some have also vowed to stay indoors despite been eligible to vote. They cited inadequate security, party rancour and thuggery as parts of reasons the election may turn violent.
‘I have a feeling the election will be violent hence I may not participate. You know LGs are the closest to the people so when violence breaks out the everyday people are first causalities. I’m also not sure of adequate security. So I can’t participate in an election that my safety is not guaranteed,’ a Lagos resident said.
An Ogun State resident shared a similar sentiment. ‘Even in their campaigns there was violence. What makes you think the election proper will not be violent? Already, the PDP in Ogun State has withdrawn from the election. Are those not possible signs of grievances and violence? The street urchins will have a field day. They will cause chaos and attack people openly especially if you decline voting for their candidate. Why should I subject myself to such punishment when in actual sense the candidate that will win already know themselves? See its their thing, let them go and handle it. Count me out”.