For The Governorship Election Lagos Remains Lagos

Part of Oshodi Market on the eve of the governorship and state assembly elections. Photo by Idowu Awoyinfa

The eve of the governorship and state assembly elections did not reflect the apprehension that was being portrayed on social media. The exchanges between political parties and supporters across the parties gave the impression that the elections rescheduled for March 18th would be a do or die affair. This particularly was supposed to be the case in Lagos State where there had been altercations between supporters of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress, APC and in particular Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party, LP, and in a lesser case those of Olajide Adediran, aka Jandor of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

In fact, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had to issue a statement, through Gbenga Omotoso, Commissioner of information and strategy that steps had been taken to ensure that the elections are conducted peacefully.

But unlike what was experienced on the eve of the Presidential election last February 25 when the streets were deserted, Lagos appeared to have retained the usual Friday events, as if no election was being expected the next day.

To start with, the traffic jam that paralysed Lagos on Thursday remained a feature that motorists had to deal with, while traders carried on with their businesses. So at Agege, Ogba, Ikeja, Oshodi and many locations that appeared like ghost towns on February 24, on March 17, traders and residents of Lagos did not demonstrate any anxiety about leaving for their homes before nightfall or beat the restriction order for the election day.

Late evening when TELL went round there were no indications that traders were in a hurry to wind up their business for the day, even in areas where shops and business premises had been shut down before dusk last February 24.

It is yet unclear if this will be an indication of the direction of events on the election day. The election was supposed to have been held on March 11, but had to be shifted to enable the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to reconfigure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS for the governorship elections holding in 28 of the 36 states of the federation and the state assembly elections holding in all the states.

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