By Adeyemi Adeleye
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State has commended political gladiators in Surulere Federal Constituency I for peaceful conduct in the ongoing by-election in the constituency.
INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos state, Prof. Ayobami Salami, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at INEC office in Surulere Local Government that the politicians had conducted themselves creditably well.
NAN reports that Surulere Constituency I has personalities like former governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN); Femi Gbajabiamila, a former speaker, House of Representatives and Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu; Mr Desmond Elliot, lawmaker and Nollywood Icon, representing the constituency at the State House of Assembly.
According to the REC, there has not been any record of violence, praying not to record any till the end of the exercise.
“The process has been very smooth and peaceful and everybody seems to be happy with it and we have no negative complaint so far.
“So far, I must say that the political gladiators in Surulere Federal Constituency I have conducted themselves creditably well and I have seen the spirit of sportsmanship.
“I just pray that they carry on with this spirit till the end of the process even after the results have been announced,” the INEC boss said.
He assured voters that only the votes cast would determine the winner of the poll.
“What I am assuring the people in this constituency is that their votes will count and the result will be the reflection of their wish.
“I am assuring everybody that the results will be the true reflection of the wish of the voters,” he said.
On voters apathy, Salami, who noted that he had gone round to monitor the situation, said that he equally noticed the same.
He, however, said that the situation was not unusual.
“That is a normal pattern in a by-election or rerun election, the turnout is usually lower than that of the general elections.
“We should not have the same expectations on the turnout that we had in the general elections. That is the usual pattern.
“The way forward is continuous voter education and mobilisation of the people which should be the joint efforts of all the stakeholders not just INEC,” Salami said.
NAN reports that 12 candidates of different political parties are contesting in the election.
The seat became vacant due to the resignation of the former occupant, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, who after winning, was appointed by President Bola Tinubu as his Chief of Staff. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Chioma Ugboma