Hunger, frustrations and low performance by governments caused Lagosian to snub the last Saturday Local Government Election
The people’s action towards the election was a demonstration of how low the government has been rated among the populace. The non participation of majority of Lagosians at last weekend’s election also shows how people’s confidence in government has degenerated because of the socio economic and security situation in the land.
A cross section of people interviewed by BusinessStandards said they refused to participate in the Local Government election because they are hungry and can barely have two square meals a day, because of high prices of food stuffs which can hardly allow them to purchase enough food items to feed their families. They said it is only people that have eaten and even have some left over that can participate in elections.
Closely linked to this, is the issue of insecurity which has made farmers abandoned their farms. This, they stated was responsible for the increase in prices of food and the APC led federal government is treating it with kid gloves.
The uncertainty about life in many respects by Nigerians has made them to lose hope about anything the APC led administration is doing no matter how beneficial they could be on the long run. The exercise is viewed by many as another deceit by the government officials to siphon money for personal use.
In the course of interviewing some residents by Business Standards ,It was discovered that Lagosian are so disorientated about the ways and manner the governments at both the federal and state levels conduct their businesses in respect of the nation’s socio economic activities, to the extent that they don’t see anything good coming out of these governments any more.
Another example they cited for not going to vote was that, they said there is no governance at local government level that would warrant any person to participate in the election because they don’t feel they exist.
Ajani Kadiri, an artisan, at ajelogo area of Mile 12 in Kosofe Local Government area , said: “What would you say the Local Government has done that will make me go and vote for a candidates whose ambition is to go to the council and share the money allocated to local government for personal aggradansement ? The drainage systems are filled with dirts, the roads are not motorable at the local levels, asked a question .
He said the impact of the local governance is not felt anywhere except at the motor parks where touts are glorified for their unruly behaviors because they have the backing of the so called chairmen of the local governments.
He stated further that the low turnout of people is a clear statement to the governments both at the state and at the centre that they have failed in their duties to their citizens and they need to sit up.
Business Standards observed that some of the areas where the APC got votes, the votes are not the correct situation of what happened as some jobless boys were paid to thump print in order to inflate the figures at the polling votes, the card readers not withstanding. There was a particular incident where a gentleman said he wanted to vote but had no voters card. He was beckon to vote without any problems. This was in collaboration with the officials of the Lagos State Electorial Commission, who have also been compromised. Serious pressure was mounted on him to vote even when they know it is a criminal offence, at least at the federal level to vote without voter’s card. He eventually turned down the request to commit crime.
In that particular polling unit at Ikorodu what happened there cannot be called election as the polling unit was encircled by sympathizers of the ruling party and where doing whatever they like there.
“The security officers are also not exempted from the corruption that has crept into our electoral system as they were also heavily compromised, they look the other way when rigging while rigging was taking place”, a voter told Business Standards. He said they security men are already compromised.
At a particular junction before Mile 12 market, N10,000 was openly shared among motor park touts that were recruited to carry out rigging there. In some places agents of other parties are settled with little money and anyone who disagreed with members of APC may have himself to blame.
In other parts of Lagos, The Guardian Newspaper had a similar experience with voters who complained about the economy and insecurity as one of the major reasons why they snubbed the election
“The electorate’s disenchantment with governance at the local government level found expression in the voter apathy recorded in yesterday’s local council polls in Lagos
For instance, at about 11:15 a.m., the Ladipo Odo Ward B2, Unit 055, was empty, and the LASIEC official there, Olusile confirmed that things were panning out slowly.
“We have been here since morning and nobody came to vote. We are still praying that people would come out,” she said.
At Kolawole Shonibare/Kolex PU007, Joseph Udechukwu told The Guardian, the turnout was not encouraging, adding that it was difficult convincing people to come out and cast their vote.