Former Deputy National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, has expressed deep concern over the violence and voter intimidation that marred the recent governorship elections. Speaking after casting his vote at PU002 Cameron road in Ikoyi, Lagos, George lamented that the exercise was fraught with violence and apathy among voters.
According to him, the reports he received from various polling units across the state for the governorship elections were very depressing, as thugs were reportedly smashing and snatching ballot boxes. Although the polling unit where he cast his vote was peaceful, he stated that the reports he had received from places like Ikeja, Shomolu, Kosofe, and Shomolu indicated that thugs were intimidating people and snatching ballot boxes. This, he said, was a clear indication of voter apathy.
George went further to express his disappointment in the security agencies, noting that their primary responsibility was to protect lives and properties and ensure that voters exercise their franchise without any encumbrance. However, the reports he had received so far indicated that people were complaining of intimidation and the snatching of ballot boxes.
He concluded by stating that he saw the situation as a reflection of voter apathy, and expressed concern about how the international community would perceive Nigeria in light of the ongoing electoral malpractices. In his opinion, such practices could have serious consequences for the country’s democratic institutions and reputation.
In conclusion, George’s remarks highlight the need for greater vigilance and proactive measures to ensure free, fair, and credible elections in Nigeria. The security agencies must be more proactive in protecting voters and ensuring that electoral malpractices are prevented. The government must also invest in voter education and sensitization to encourage citizens to participate in the electoral process and hold their leaders accountable. Ultimately, the credibility of Nigeria’s democratic institutions is at stake, and all stakeholders must work together to safeguard them.