A group of people on Saturday attacked the news crew of Arise Television, which was covering voting for the governorship and state legislative elections around Oba Elegushi’s palace in Elegushi, Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos State.
According to the news station, the equipment of the crew members, including cameras, microphones, and camera stands, was also seized by the hoodlums who they suspect to be loyal to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Added to the confiscation of the equipment of the news crew, members of the team covering the voting exercise around the palace were brutalized, sustaining various degrees of injuries in the process.
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This attack comes after the traditional ruler of the Ikate-Elegushi Kingdom, Saheed Ademola (Kusanla III), joined his counterparts in Ikorodu, Ijegun, and other parts of the state to declare a three-day Oro ritual rite for Ikate-Elegushi land.
Unlike other areas in the state, which kicked off their Oro festival on Wednesday midnight and ended on Friday night, the Oba of Ikate-Elegushi extended his to Saturday, March 18, election day, an exercise that many felt would disenfranchise women, girls, and non-natives from voting.
According to tradition, during the procession of the cleansing rites, women, girls, and non-natives are not permitted to come out.
In a memo issued to the residents of Ikate-Elegushi, the monarch announced that there would be a restriction on movement to perform the Oro rite in the community from Wednesday to Saturday, the day of the election.
Residents of the community allege that this move by the Oba was a deliberate move to disenfranchise them and reduce the chances of the opposition Labour Party governorship candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, winning the governorship election, a direct infringement on their voting rights.
The Labour Party governorship candidate had urged residents in the affected areas to come out and vote, promising them that they wouldn’t be affected by the Oro festival.
Prior to this development, audio tapes of a traditional ruler within the Ibeju-Lekki area of the state threatening residents with eviction who refused to vote for APC and, in particular, the presidential candidate of the party, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, at the February 18 presidential election had sufficed on the internet.
In another development, some residents in the Badore area of Ajah, Lagos State, were attacked by thugs alleged to be members of the ruling APC. Chinedu, a warehouse manager who resides in that area, complained about the attack he and other residents suffered at the hands of these thugs.
“They attacked us,” Chinedu told BusinessDay with pain in his voice. He claimed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) presiding officer and his colleagues, in connivance with the APC party agents, invited thugs to attack them. “They came, masked themselves so that we couldn’t see their faces, and attacked us. They carted away with the election materials,” he added.
He said that, unlike the presidential and national assembly elections, voter turnout was better as more people came out to exercise their rights to vote.
“Unlike the presidential and national assembly elections, we actually had more people who came out to vote,” he said.