In many areas of Lagos on Saturday, mobs and party officials interrupted APC primary elections, allegedly supporting certain candidates before the July 24 local elections.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reported that hundreds of affected All Progressives Congress (APC) members spent time with the party’s chieftains in Lagos on Saturday, expressing their anger at the alleged unfair exercise. The entrance to the premises of the party secretariat was blocked.
Case in point, voting didn’t take place in all 10 electoral districts in Badagry because of incorrect voter registration which caused interference and harassment. In like manner, an invalid certification form was used in Agege, consequently, voters could not find their numbers and names on the electoral roll.
It was also reported that, in many local government areas, including Somolu, Alimosho, Ejigbo, and other places, hoodlums disrupted the exercise and injured several people.
In Surulere, it was also discovered during the exercise that alleged political and sectarian mobs had a field day, leading to attacks on election officials. In Kosofe and Itire-Ikate LGA’s, voters were attacked by suspected mobs who broke into election venues with weapons. The situation in Ejigbo and Isolo local government areas was similar, with elections reportedly cancelled in some local areas due to violence.
These nefarious activities impede free and fair elections, it also discourages the masses from carrying out their franchise as citizens of Nigeria.
Suffice it to say that, no one can remember the last time the All Progressives Congress (APC) held any meeting or any event without violence or casualties. This dangerous political dynamic may mark the beginning of a wider pattern, in which case 2023 elections will be predetermined and characterized by misconduct and violence. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must do everything to forestall this looming challenge.
It is however worthy of note that when the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) held sway in most of the government levels across Nigeria, violence was not alien to its processes.