Election Violence: According to Lagos CP, Police Reacted Quickly In Most Cases
Some of the incidents of violence during the governorship and state house of assembly elections in the state, according to Idowu Owohunwa, commissioner of police for Lagos State, were expected.
“It is true that we’ve recorded incidences of violence in several regions within the state,” Owohunwa said in an interview with Channels Television, confirming reports of assaults on voters and election officials at some polling places in Lagos.
The occurrences, he continued, “were not as common as to alter the general dynamics of the process,” he added. He claimed that the police “correctly replied to the police because we anticipated them” in the majority of the cases.
When asked if the command had seen the violence coming, he replied, “Yes, in some cases. While planning operations of this sort, security practitioners must assume that some elements will seek to turn into enemies.
“We expected and then included that in our overall operational plan, and we successfully activated that routine in this case. The police were able to react quickly to the majority of such infractions.
In addition, Owohunwa addressed the allegations made in certain popular videos about purported voting box thefts.
The police commissioner stated, “It in itself is criminal; two wrongs cannot create a right,” in reference to a video showing voters allegedly overwhelming a young man accused of stealing a ballot box.
Contrary to what has been stated on social media, the young man is alive and was saved by the police and other security forces, and he is currently receiving medical care for his alleged electoral offense.
Owohunwa declared, “He’s stable; he’s not dead.
The CP stated that “a lot of arrests” and “recoveries” had been made and that the police were collating instances that were under the scope.
“We retrieved almost all of the ballot boxes in the majority of those cases of ballot box stealing,” he claimed.
Owohunwa claimed that the Eti-Osa Local Government Area (LGA) has not offered a significant difficulty despite reports of disenfranchisement in the area.
The problem, according to him, was more with the polling places being moved from inside the estate to a spot outside the gate. “Rather, where we have difficulty currently, I guess, is around VGC [Victoria Garden City], specifically anyway,” he added.
“It falls under INEC’s purview, and when it came to my attention, I alerted the REC to the development. He personally visited the area and is currently attempting to connect with the voters in order to help them establish a common ground.