Though open campaigns ended on Thursday, events leading to Saturday election day were on the upbeat on the eve of election with different political parties fine-tuning their strategies and mobilising their agents. A visit around Lagos showed a beehive of activities at the different local government offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to
Though open campaigns ended on Thursday, events leading to Saturday election day were on the upbeat on the eve of election with different political parties fine-tuning their strategies and mobilising their agents. A visit around Lagos showed a beehive of activities at the different local government offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct credible polls.
According to the electoral schedule by the INEC that the campaign and awareness by politicians should have come to a halt on Thursday 23rd February 2023 and politicians within Lagos adhered to the stipulation but there posters and banners still littered everywhere. And, putting an end to the open campaign did not deter supporters of the different political parties from gathering in small groups previewing the likely outcome of the election and to discuss factors that may shape the outcome.
Some political parties still held their ward meetings ahead of the elections to intimate their members on their strategies and plans to become victorious in the coming elections.
On a visit to the Lagos state INEC headquarters, Yaba, we observed the last-minute preparations of the electoral commission for the general elections in the state, there was a heavy presence of security personnel around the building. Men of the Nigerian Police Force were observed to be on their toes, guarding the entrance of the INEC headquarters.
Some journalists at the INEC headquarters expressed their dissatisfaction with INEC’s accreditation process for observers and media personnel, as some of them complained bitterly about their inability to find the accreditation tags needed for election coverage even when they were duly registered. According to the concerned journalists, INEC has not been able to provide their tags, and it could prevent them from performing their duty tomorrow.
Kunle Daramola, a reporter with TheCable online newspaper, told NDR that he had been on the quest to get his accreditation tag since yesterday. He noted that after several pestering, he was promised to get it. “I have been coming here since yesterday, the officer in charge told us that there was a difficulty in finding our tags. We were told to come back today, we are optimistic that we would get it. Another journalist said they have been promised to get the tags before the election is held tomorrow.
Some other journalists said the accreditation tags did not come with Press stickers and jackets to make their election day duty movement easy.
Local Government Offices Get Materials, Distributed to Registration Area Centers.
When the NDR visited the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, in Orile Agege local government, Lagos state, election materials were being prepared for distribution to the wards.
However, the Adhoc officials for the elections were noticed standing and sitting outside the office as the INEC staff were sorting the materials needed for the elections.
Speaking with Olalekan, one of the INEC Adhoc Staff waiting outside for the sorting process, he said the commission was avoiding omissions while sorting the materials.
“They have told us that congestion of the environment can disrupt the sorting process, to avoid a mix-up while they are being transported to their respective locations”
Just like it was observed at the INEC headquarters police were also seen securing the election materials. There is also a heavy presence of security men and some soldiers seen around Lagos.
On Wednesday, the electoral commission took delivery of sensitive materials for the Presidential and National Assembly elections ahead of Saturday but it was discovered on Thursday that the Labour Party’s logo was omitted on Senatorial and House of Representatives ballot papers in Lagos and Ondo states.
Reacting to the exclusion of the party’s logo on the ballot papers, a Labour Party chieftain on Thursday said, “We expect that as the umpire, INEC will be transparent. Transparent to the extent that everything that it has done in preparation for this election should be made visible to the public so that the people know.
The Labour Party (LP) has subsequently asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to include its party logo on all the ballot papers across the country and where the logo has been omitted before Saturday presidential and National Assembly elections or postpone the elections until it corrects the error.
When asked about this development at his daily briefing in Abuja on Friday, Chairman INEC said the Commission was inundated with several court orders which may have been responsible for the omission of the Party’s logo in some constituencies.