…Two Dead In Surulere As Thugs Unleash Mayhem On Voters, Returning Officers
…Aspirant Alleges Fraud, Ballot Snatching In Lagos Island
…Enilolobo Escapes Attack In Egbe-Idimu
The local government election primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held across the 57 councils in Lagos State was marred by widespread violence and fraud.
It was a free for all affair in some councils as supporters of aspirants clashed at the primaries which turned bloody in some councils.
In Surulere Local Government, two persons were reportedly killed by thugs in Ward E 1, leaving party members scampering for safety.
Some voters who spoke anonymously to our correspondent alleged that those who started the mayhem were thugs and cultists bent on ensuring the Vice Chairman of the council, Suleiman Yusuf wins the primaries at all cost.
Yusuf, who is alleged to be the choice of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila is contending the chairmanship ticket with the Youth Organising Secretary of the APC in Lagos, Idris Aregbe.
Aregbe in a broadcast message sent at about 10am had alleged that thugs were preventing voters from exercising their rights, while he called on the speaker to allow a peaceful democratic process.
“We have just learnt that thugs sponsored by the Speaker, Honorable Femi Gbajabiamila are moving from ward to ward around Surulere intimidating people and preventing them from voting in the primaries election of APC that is ongoing.
“PLEASE CAN SOMEONE TELL FEMI GBAJABIAMILA TO PLEASE ALLOW US TO VOTE. We should be allowed to exercise our rights to chose who will be our flag bearers in the oncoming local government election Surulere. Gbaja is not the owner of Surulere, he should allow us to vote,” the message read.
Under the trending hashtag, #SurulereUnderSiege, residents of the area took to twitter to express their displeasure over the disruption of a local government primaries, wondering what will happen on election day.
Dozens of party members were also left with severe injuries as the exercise became confrontational and violence ridden.
According to information the primaries only held in four wards, said to be the stronghold of Gbajabiamila.
Youths in the area urged the party leaders to cancel the exercise as the process was marred by violence and intimidation of voters.
In Lagos Island, the situation was not different as widespread violence marred the process.
There were several reported cases of ballot box snatching, multiple voting and voters intimidation.
According to information there was no election in Ward C/1, while the process was disrupted in Ward B/1 as thugs said to be working for the incumbent chairman of Lagos Island Local Government, Adetoyese Olusi invaded some wards and beat agents of his closest rival, Prince Adewale Ojora.
A party leader from Ojora’s campaign team who spoke anonymously told The pledge that the Deputy Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni led thugs to disrupt election in his ward C1, insisting that nobody will vote.
He also alleged that in Ward A2 Oluwole, Hon Rasheed Giwa led thugs with guns to disrupt election. No voting took place. He along with Alhaji Yemisi Coker went to a house and conjuncture results.
“Ward A1 and A4, widespread of fake membership card and multiple voting is seriously on going.
“Members at Ward C2 were prevented from casting their ballot except if they are voting for the incumbent chairman. Multiple voting and ballot box stuffing is also going,” the party member told this medium.
In Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area, Organising Secretary of the APC in Lagos, Abdullahi Enilolobo escaped attack after thugs loyal to a House of Representatives hopeful, Hon. Idris Balogun a.k.a Oluomo Kafata attacked him during the primaries.
Both Enilolobo and Balogun had different aspirants contesting for the chairmanship ticket in the council.
A journalist Omooba Oloyede who witnessed the incident and was lucky to escape with onlt abstab wound, said Balogun’s boys did not waste time to unleash mayhem in the area while the process was ongoing.
“While voters were lining up, Hon Balogun walked straight to Enilolobo and complained that they were not being counted. Immediately, his boys attacked the boys behind Enilolobo and in a twinkle of an eye, it became a free for all.
“In the course of the mayhem, Enilolobo was hit with a chair twice, they had to whisk Enilolobo out of the place. In the course of that, I was stabbed. It was not intentional though, but while they were brandishing weapons, it hit my lap and cut me,” Oloyede explained.
Speaking on the outcome of the exercise, Lagos Island chairmanship hopeful, Prince Adewale Ojora described the process in his council as a public rape of democracy.
He said he had noticed some irregularities in the membership registration form as his name was not written against his serial number, while registered members were shocked that their names were missing on the register.
Ojora also alleged series of election malpractice in the course of the exercise, just as he accused some party leaders and a lawmaker of attempting to subvert the will of the people at all cost.
The statement read in parts, “a female Ward Exco member was caught on video, “voting” (writing OLUSI on the Ballot Paper) for a Member, while she was also giving out multiple Ballot Papers to Voters, she knew came to vote my opponent!
“I saw Hon. Lookman Thomas, the serving Councillor in Ward A1 at the Primary Election venue wearing Toye Olusi Campaign face Cap on his head. He was openly inducing Voters to vote for Toye Olusi!
“Members’ Phones were snatched and smashed on the floor in a bid to prevent iron cast evidences of their wide spread irregularities.
“The serving Deputy Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Wasiu Sanni Eshilokun was seen at Election Venue in Ward C1 disrupting the Electoral Processes, with impunity.
“In broad day light, a well known Female ward Member was caught red-handed at B1 with alread)y “thumbprinted” Ballot Papers, which she attempted to smuggled into the Ballot Box. This wasn’t an isolated single occurrence, because incidents of Ballot Boxes and Ballot Papers snatching, smashing and stuffing are rife!
“At Ward A2, notable APC “Leaders” led thugs to distrupt the Exercise, and no actual voting took place there at all!
“We are still collating INCONTROVERT IBLE EVIDENCE of this charade called Primary Election.”