By Bose Adelaja
Low turn out of voters, was witnessed Saturday, in Ikorodu and its environ during the rescheduled Lagos-East Senatorial District and Kosofe Constituency 11, House of Assembly Bye-elections which took place on Saturday.
This was as the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, Abike Dabiri-Erewa; the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate, Gbadamosi Olatere Babatunde, popularly called BOG; and Member, Federal House of Representatives, representing Ikorodu Constituency, Babajimi Bendon cast their votes.
Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa cast her vote at Isele Ward 007, Beach Road at about 10.57 am while Gbadamosi cast his vote at about 9.40 am at Isele 1, Ward A1, Booth 014 and Babajimi at Ward C4, Molatori, Ibeshe at about 10 am.
The trio who addressed journalists shortly after casting their votes called on the electorates to exercise their voting rights at any slightest opportunity.
While Dabiri and Babajimi expressed optimism that the electoral system in Nigeria can be improved upon, Gbadamosi expressed apprehension at the conduct of the elections.
BOG, who cast his vote at exactly 9.40 am, at Isele 1, Ward A1, Booth 014, Ayangburen, Ikorodu, expressed dissatisfaction over the low turn out of voters as of 9:30 a.m and called on the electorate to come out and prevent rigging.
Speaking with journalists after casting his vote, He said, “I am apprehensive about late arrival of electoral materials in this ward. Also not impressed with the way and manner the election is being conducted by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,”
Produce Your Voter’S Card, Bog Challenged Abiru
The PDP candidate who seized the opportunity to display his voter’s card at the venue of the elections also called on his opponent to produce his voter’s card.
BOG expressed doubt that his opponent was not registered in Ikorodu saying, “this is my voter’s card, I call on my opponent to display his if he was registered in Ikorodu.
“Journalists are regarded as the Fourth Estate of the realm. They should find out if my opponent voted, where he voted and what he voted with,”
Meanwhile, Dabiri has advised Nigerian youths to tap into the “Not Too Young To Rule Bill” and launch themselves in 2023.
She said Nigerian youths are the brightest and best among their peers. As for the Bye-elections, there should be more voter’s awareness and Nigerians should be encouraged to vote and be voted for. There are few cases of card riders malfunctioning but I hope that INEC will make it a continuous process so that people can work in at any time and vote,”
Also, Babajimi said though the elections were Coivid-19 Pandemic compliant, there wer voters’ apathy. He advised National Orientation Agency NOA, to sensitise people to vote in upcoming elections.
The elections also witnessed low turn out of voters in Ojota, Ogudu, Ketu, Gbagada and several other places in Kosofe area except in Ward G area where voters turned out en masse.