Governorship, House of Assembly elections orderly – Gbajabiamila
By Mukhtar Tijjani
Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, on Saturday described the Governorship and House of Assembly Elections as orderly but decried the low turnout of voters.
Gbajabiamila said this in an interview with newsmen after casting his vote at Ward 08, Polling Unit 014, Elizabeth Fowler Memorial School, Surulere, Lagos.
“In my polling unit, the voting process has been orderly and peaceful, the only downside all over is the low turnout of voters for the elections.
“The mad rush of two weeks ago is not there, but then, at the end of the day, we will find out what the numbers are.
“If it goes the way it has been going since morning, then definitely, there has been some sort of voter apathy,” the Speaker said.
Gbajabiamila said that there had been a lot of improvement in terms of preparedness by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“The staff and materials came early, accreditation went well and the BVAS has worked fairly, particularly everywhere from my own understanding,” he said.
Gbajabiamila, however, said that the introduction of technology in the election process was new and therefore had some lapses during the Feb. 25 Presidential and National Assembly Elections.
“What happened a couple of weeks ago is a learning process, whereby INEC tried to introduce new technology and I don’t know what happened with the technology.
“But like I said, it’s a learning process and I think INEC seems to have corrected whatever lapses there was and I think we will see a much better operation this time around.
“A system is perfected not on the first day but as you continue to familiarise yourself with its use,” Gbajabiamila said.
The Speaker said that about 25 million people participated in the elections which he said was a lot of number when dealing with new technology.
“However, that is no excuse. What I am just trying to say is that in every system there will always be imperfections until you perfect the system,” he said.
According to Gbajabiamila, he will not ascribe the build up of violence in some areas of the state to anyone.
He said that the authorities should investigate and whoever was found culpable should be brought to book as a lesson, to avert future recurrence.
“It is unfortunate, but we just have to continue to encourage ourselves and to encourage people to go out and exercise their franchise.
“We just have to continue to imbibe that culture of tolerance and allow people to vote their conscience,” Gbajabiamila said. (NAN)