[PHOTOS] Weapons-wielding thugs on motorbikes disrupt polls in Lagos

Presidential and National Assembly elections at Okota, Oshodi/Isolo Local Government Area of Lagos were disrupted by suspected thugs.

Eye witnesses said the hoodlums came in about 10 motorcycles and forcefully dispersed voters, INEC officials and security operatives with weapons.

It was gathered that elections did not hold in some polling units as a result of the incident.

Witnesses said voters fled for their lives as the hoodlums unleashed mayhem on the area.

Also, late arrival of Independent National Electoral Commission workers at various polling units across Oshodi Isolo and Alimosho Local Government Areas of Lagos delayed the commencement of the polls.

Most of the polling units visited by our correspondents in the areas had one complaint or the other regarding the conduct of the election.

The monitoring, which started from the Oshodi Isolo LGA Secretariat showed late departure of INEC ad hoc workers and electoral materials to different polling units.

An INEC official on duty at the secretariat, who declined to reveal his identity, said some ad hoc workers did not turn up, necessitating emergency deployment of new set of workers to make up for the shortfall.

In Bolade/Sopeju, Sogunle/Alasia, Ewuntun Mofoluku areas and Adebimpe Avenue, Alimosho, voting was delayed for a minimum of two hours even though there was high turnout of voters.

Voters, while expressing their anger at the late commencement of the polls, claimed they got to the polling units as early as 7am.

In addition to late arrival of INEC workers, there was an incidence of card reader failure at Polling Unit 035, Sogunle/Alasia Area in Oshodi and late pasting of voters’ lists in most units.

The INEC ad hoc officials were seen pasting the lists in some polling units shortly before accreditation.

A voter at Adebimpe Avenue, Alimosho LGA, Mr Sunday Aja, expressed disappointment at the delay in the polls, adding that he was ready to wait till they arrive.

“We are eager to vote, but we have not seen INEC officials. I arrived here at 7.30am and this is 9.10am. We got information that voting was started in other places. We are ready to wait till they arrive, ” Aja said.

One Shimbura Isaac at Arowojobe/Olatunji Bolade-Oshodi, said INEC officials arrived the polling unit at exactly 10.45am, claiming that they were not organised.

He said, “The place is not organised and no one is addressing us on why they arrived late.

“When will the voting start, because they just pasted the voters’ list.”

Also complaining about the card reader failure, Oladapo Seun at Adewunmi/Ogefon polling unit lamented that INEC officials arrived at 10.20am but the card reader refused to work. However, a new functional one was later delivered to the unit at 11.57am.

Meanwhile, Senator Solomon Adeola, who represents Lagos West Senatorial district, commended INEC shortly after casting his ballot at Adebimpe Avenue Alimosho Local Government at Ward E polling Units 021, at 10.33am.

He said, “I am happy with process so far. But let us still wait till the whole process is concluded.”

See the photos of the disruption:

Ballot papers strewn on the ground by thugs in Okota, Lagos.
Chairs, ballot boxes scattered in Okota, Lagos voting zone by thugs