Gbajabiamila urges security agencies to investigate threats on electorate
Laments Low Voter Turn-Out
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has urged security operatives to investigate those involved in threats and violence in the build-up to the governorship and House of Assembly elections.
Gbajabiamila stated this yesterday at his Polling Unit 014, Ward 08, Fowler Memorial International School, Masha, Surulere, Lagos, after casting his vote.
He said the perpetrators, whoever they are or the party they support, should be brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others in future elections.
According to him, voting whomever you want is part of the freedom of expression guaranteed in the constitution, and no one has the right to hinder anybody from exercising his/her franchise.
He said: “We just have to continue to educate ourselves and encourage people to go out and exercise their franchise. Freedom of movement and expression is enshrined in our constitution and voting whomever you want is part of freedom of expression.
“Your vote is an expression, which is guaranteed under the constitution. We have to continue to imbibe the culture of tolerance and allow people to vote their conscience.
“I will ascribe the violence here and there in the build up to the election to the overzealousness of party members. The authorities should investigate those involved in it and whoever they are should be brought to book to serve as a lesson to others moving forward in future elections.”
Gbajabiamila commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for improving on the electoral process, noting that the governorship and House of Assembly elections were more seamless compared with the presidential and National Assembly elections held on February 25.
He, however, lamented low turnout of voters, saying: “From what I heard and see, INEC has upped its game; there’s been a lot of improvement in terms of preparedness by the commission. The materials and the INEC staff came early; accreditation was okay, the BVAS worked fairly.
“As far as the electorate are concerned so far the process is very coordinated and peaceful. I think the only downside is the voter apathy. The voter turnout is incredibly low but I won’t come to conclusion yet; it’s early. We still have about some hours left maybe more people will come out. At the end of the day we will find out what the numbers are but if there is no improvement that means there is going to be voter apathy.”