The Independent National Electoral Commission has postponed Saturday’s Governorship and House of Assembly elections in 10 polling units in the Victoria Garden City, Lekki area of the State.
INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Lagos State, Segun Agbaje, stated this when he addressed reporters at the VGC on Saturday.
Agbaje said members of the National Youth Service Corps deployed as ad hoc staff in the area were hesitant to enter the VGC estate as they alleged that they were held hostage during the 25 February Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Agbaje said the ad hoc staff instead set up voting materials in front of the estate but residents of the estate said they did not feel secure owing to fear of hoodlums’ invasion and disruption of the process, and, therefore, could not cast their votes.
He said the situation was beyond the security agents present, hence he and his team had to visit the area.
“We have eight polling units here with 6,024 registered voters and out of which 5,624 people have their PVCs,” Agbaje said.
He added that two other polling units at the estate’s main gate were also affected.
“Eight here (in the estate) and two outside,” he said.
“After due consultation and further directive from the national headquarters that we should remobilise here tomorrow (Sunday) morning by 8:30am to conduct the elections, by 8:30am tomorrow (Sunday) we will reconvene here.”
Agbaje also noted that the commission had got assurances from the chairman of the security committee of the estate of the safety of its staff and voters.
The announcement comes after residents of Victoria Garden City (VGC), had accused INEC of voter intimidation and setting up of “illegal” polling units without informing the estate.
As of 2:30 p.m., voting had not commenced in the area, as the residents lamented the impromptu relocation of the 10 polling units meant for the community. The polling units were reportedly transferred outside the community.
Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES before the postponement, the former president of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) president, Olumide Akpata, decried the delay in the electoral process at the VGC, noting that it was not safe for the voters who are over 6,000.
Mr. Akpata said INEC never gave any prior notice of redesignation and the officials insisted in the morning that “whether we like it or not, the election will hold outside” but nobody voted.
Popular Nollywood actress, Omoli Oboli; the Governorship Candidate of the Action Democratic Congress (ADC), Olufunsho Doherty; Chairman of VGC, Gihan Mbelu and other residents also decried the impromptu arrangement and insisted voting will not hold outside.