Kunle Adelabu & Odede Efezino Kenneth
Residents of Ikorodu have said that they are expecting a credible and peaceful Gubernatorial and House of Assembly polls on Saturday, March 18, 2023, when Nigerians will be going back to their respective polling booths across the country to elect governors and Assembly members in various states.
Two weeks ago, millions of Nigerians across the country had elected the next President of the country and members of both Senate and House of Representatives, but there have been allegations against the conduct of the elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
There have also been allegations and counter – allegations amongst the political parties, especially the major ones – All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP), over the process and outcome of the elections.
However, in less than 24 hours to the poll, residents of Ikorodu, have said that they are looking forward to the election with the optimism that it would be better organized and there won’t be any violence.
Some of the residents that spoke with THE IMPACT are hopeful that INEC will improve on every aspect of the poll.
Mr Adeniyi Aderemi, an APC member and resident of Igbogbo, said that his expectations are that his party’s governorship candidate would emerge victorious.
“What we are expecting is that the candidate, Mr Sanwo-Olu whom we know, is going to emerge as the winner, because there’s no way a stranger will know how it is done compared to the owner”, he said.
“The other political parties will also try, but because APC has their own agenda and program that are in place before now, and which people have seen, it is on this basis that I am expecting people to vote for Sanwo-Olu so that he can continue with the agenda.
“If a neutral person emerges, he may not execute the ongoing programmes on ground but his own for people to say that he has also done well. We pray that God should choose the better person for us”, he added.
A commercial bus driver at the Ikorodu garage, Mr. Idris Adeshina, said that he expected a peaceful election.
“My expectation is that the election will go on peacefully without any problem and stress like the previous election which was free and fair”, he said.
Mr Philip, a Phone seller at Ikorodu Garage, said that INEC disappointed many Nigerians with the conduct of the last election. He, however, expect a peaceful election on Saturday.
“We are believing in God that it will go on peacefully. In the presidential election, you know the youths and majority of Nigerians are very hopeful that our votes are going to be counted, but to be sincere, you and I know and majority of Nigerians also know that it was not the case. Everyone was disappointed. You can see the situation in the country and that is to tell you that something went wrong”, he said.
“INEC has really failed Nigerians. Things were not as we expected, you can see the hardship. That is even the more reason that we must go out to vote with the belief that the election is going to be very successful.
“I hope INEC will do the needful this time around and what I want all of us to know is that irrespective of our political parties, 80 percent of Nigerians are not politicians and they are not after party, rather, they are after individuals who can make good use of the public offices”.
Another resident of Igbogbo, Mr Taiwo Lawal, while urging people to go out and vote, also added that the he’s hopeful that the people will have the opportunity to elect their choice candidates.
“My expectations are not much. We all know what is going on in the state right now and we just want a better party that will do the masses good”, he said.
“This election will be for the people, by the people and from the people. We don’t want a situation where we will have a crisis everywhere because of the election. We want an election that will bring peace and harmony among ourselves”, he added.
Deacon Monday Ohi Obadan, a community developer and public analyst , also commenting, said that he too is expecting improvement in the conduct of the Saturday polls by the electoral umpire. He warned against violence in some areas due to the ethnic colouration that has characterized the campaigns.
“Significant improvement to correct the anomalies and shortcomings highlighted by all and sundries on February 25 in the INEC processes. There should be safety and security for all electorates who would come out to exercise their democratic rights from harrassment, intimidation, or those already being threatened !”, he said.
“If this can be reinforced, I expect a massive turnout of more eligible voters.
“With the heightened ethnic tension in the past few days, I foresee and expect recriminations in some ‘voting battlegrounds’ in Lagos State”, he added.
He said that his expectation from the outcome of the poll is that the incumbent governor will be re – elected and returned to the office.
“In Ikorodu Division, where I reside, I expect that the way the APC leadership conduct the reconciliation, rapprochement and realignment of party members who are polling agents would determine if Ikorodu Division would improve upon his ratings”, Mr Obadan said.
“Nonetheless, I am confident of significant improvement in voters’ turnout ceteris paribus because BOS and certain Ikorodu politicians have put in extra efforts to rejuvenate voters.
“I am confident without any doubt that BOS would earn his second term”, he said.
Mr Oke Godwin OlaOluwa, an economist and public analyst, also speaking on his expectation said:
“I implore voters’ not to be intimidated. They should come out en masse, and exercise their right to vote for candidates of their choice”.