The July 22, 2017 elections into various offices in the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas in Lagos state appear to still be generating discussions among many both within and outside the state.
It is on this note that a socio-civic group, Progressive Solidarity Forum (PSF) described the low turnout in the election as “shocking”. The group described the low turnout as “one of the manifestation of lack of sound political education at the local level.”
The group’s position was contained in a statement signed by its Lagos State Director of Media, Information and Publicity, Mr Olalekan Adigun, today, in the state.
Mr Adigun said: “From the preliminary report presented by our team of election monitors deployed across the state, the poor turnout of voters in the exercise was noticeable across the state. In some polling units visited by our team, LASIEC officials were simply observing their siesta in places like Victoria Island.”
The group also maintain that it was simply a “convenient excuse for politicians to blame the weather for the poor turnout as many voters interviewed by our team claimed they could not identify the candidates by names or programmes.” The statement read.
The group criticized the pockets of violence that were reported in places like Odi-Olowo/Ojuwowe, Agege and others describing it as “uncivilized and barbaric” for “people to still resort to self-help in this digital age.”
PSF also use the opportunity to “console those who lost properties to the heavy flood on Saturday.” Mr. Adigun called on the Lagos State Government to ensure adequate compensation for the victims of the incident.
“We are using this opportunity to call for a review of the drainage system in Lagos. The Lagos State Government should take a second look at the Town Planning Laws to ensure it’s up to date to forestall future disasters we are presently experiencing especially on the Island.” The statement said.
Mr Adigun further said: “Everyone should be worried about the poor turnout in Saturday’s poll because if people don’t show interests in Local Government elections, a Government that is the closest to them, it portends danger to Nigeria’s democracy in the future.”
“We need more youth participation especially in local politics because that was one of the reasons the Local Government Areas were created in the first instance.” He added.
The statement went further to say that the group’s Observation Report on the Local Government elections will soon be published on its website.