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Stakeholders rue violence during federal ballot


Prof. Lai Olurode

Former Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) official, Prof. Lai Olurode, has described the violence that marred the February 23 presidential and national assembly elections as most unexpected.

He told The Guardian that “Elections are based on the cherished philosophy of equality of votes and the principle of one person one vote. Violence and snatching of election materials are expressions of frustration and disbelief in the process of democratisation. They stand condemned.

“Unfettered participation in the electoral process must be actively promoted and supported. This is the path to determining people’s preferences and in aggregating those preferred choices of the people.”


The former electoral commissioner advised that the partial disruption of the electoral process on February 23 should not discourage the electorate from coming out to cast their votes today.

“Yes, it can deter participation; but it won’t be good for Lagosians to submit to intimidation. We must act together to shame instigators of violence and prove them wrong,” he added.

Real estate valuer, Chuks Godwin Jnr., corroborating Olurode, noted the absence of integrity, openness and fairness in the electoral process, but a glaring pursuit for power and selfish interest.

“Many a president has failed woefully in delivering their mandate and campaign promises. With corruption in every aspect of governance, I would rather stay at home than risk my life at any polling unit,” he said.

Livingston Obasi, a freight forwarder told The Guardian that a number of people, especially in Okota area, were scared because of the incident that took place during the last election.

“We saw those thugs with guns, cutlasses, scaring people away. So, to me, unless there is adequate security measure, there is likely to be low turn-out of voters on Saturday (today),” he said.

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