The Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM) as one of the civil society organizations accredited by the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) to observe the conduct of the 24th July 2021 Lagos State local government councils election across the 57 local government and local councils development areas of the state, deployed observers across the three senatorial zones of the state for the exercise and monitored reports via other observer groups and the media in the coverage of the election.
In general, we commend the successful conduct of the election generally across the state, save for some few incidents of hitches in some polling units which is not enough to distract from the fact that the election was generally successful.
We must report that LASIEC personnel arrived with election materials early enough around 7-30-8.00am which is the election commencement time in a large proportion of the polling stations across the state save for some areas where due to logistic problems, arrived late say around 9-10.30am according to our observation and reports monitored. The deployment of the E-card reader and it’s functionality was a partial success during the election, but we commend LASIEC for making provisions for manual accreditation through the use of the incident forms to be filled by those who couldn’t technologically accredit, however, we note with concern that in some polling stations where people were accredited manually, incident form was not used, which is not supposed to be so, hence we hope this lacuna would be looked into and corrected against future elections.
Generally, we observed that the provisions of the electoral process in terms of the use of the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) as the passport for identification of a voter for accreditation and voting was strictly adhered to in this election and for this, we commend LASIEC for its commendable effort and hope that in its post mortem of the election, the shortcomings observed would be worked upon and recommendations put in place for a better local government councils election in Lagos state in future.
The Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM) sincerely commends the security agencies for maintaining neutrality and exhibiting professionalism with the deployment of its men at polling stations, road blocks and via motorized patrols to enforce the no movement restrictions order of the state government and ensuring security during and after the election.
We commend the media for its professional coverage and reportage of the election and which has gone a long way to deepen our democracy.
On the turnout of voters, we must express our utter pain and disappointment by the very low turnout witnessed and reported in polling stations across the 57 local governments/local council development areas all through the election. As an election observer group, we are indeed traumatized by the voters apathy and recognize that the responsibility for the mobilization of voters to exercise their franchise is a collective assignment that should not be lost on all stakeholders as we continue to assess the positive and negatives of this election.
The conduct of political party agents is commended as they comported themselves responsibly at the polling stations and this contributed in no small measure to the success of this election.
We also commend the accredited observer groups for their indispensable role in deepening our democracy which they played creditably during this election.
Generally, in examining the conduct of the 2021 Lagos State local government councils election, notwithstanding the major drawback of voters apathy which characterized this election, we must commend Lagosians for a successful exercise and hope that in holistically appraising this exercise, we recognize that we can do better next time.