Heavy security presence in Lagos as polls open




Nigerian police
Just for illustration: Strict enforcement of movement restriction in Lagos

By Yemi Adeleye/Rukuyat Adeyemi

Heavy security presence and strict enforcement of movement restriction were noticed in parts of Lagos on Saturday as residents of the state troop out for the Governorship and the State Assembly elections.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that stern-looking soldiers manned many roads as early as 6 a.m to effect the restriction order.

This was unlike the Feb. 23 Presidential and National Assembly election, which had only a few areas blocked by the army officers. Drivers of commercial vehicles then exploited the loose security.

NAN correspondent monitoring the exercise reports that the soldiers shunned all appeals by almost all motorists to pass, as only officials of INEC and those on official duty were allowed to pass.

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Some of the areas blocked include Abesan Gate, Ipaja, Moshalashi area, Alimosho, Idimu Road, Ikotun area among others.

However, many people were seen walking while others stood in groups in the frontage of their houses, in readiness to move to polling units to exercise their civic responsibility.

The polling units opened at 8.00a.m.

At polling units 1 to 13 in Gowon Estate in Alimosho Local Government Area, INEC officials were seen as early as 6.45a.m with their election materials.

While some INEC officials were busy moving materials and personnel out of their various Registration Area Centres (RAC) at about 7.00 a m, some were found at their various polling units.

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Meanwhile, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos State, Mr Sam Olumekun, had told NAN that the electoral body was good to go and ready to give residents of the state free and fair elections on Saturday.

Olumekun gave the assurance while speaking on the readiness of the commission for the exercise in the state, in an interview with NAN Friday night.

In Lagos, the electorate will go to the polls to elect a Governor and 40 members of the state House of Assembly on Saturday.

Supplementary elections will also take place in six federal constituencies in the state where the National Assembly elections held on Feb. 23 were inconclusive.

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NAN reports that 45 governorship candidates across various political parties will be vying for the number one seat in the state.

Also, 640 candidates of various parties are eying the 40 seats in the Lagos State House of Assembly in the election.

Culled from: Source




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