As Nigerians return to their polling units to cast their votes for governorship and state house of assembly seats, the President of Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, has described the process as peaceful.
Okei-Odumakin who briefed journalists in Lagos on Saturday said there were reports of a large turnout of voters as well as personnel of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
She stated that the electoral body had improved on the conduct of the elections, when compared to the February 25 Presidential/National Assembly polls.
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Commending INEC for commencing the exercise early, Okei-Odumakin urged Nigerians to keep hope alive as the nation’s democracy continues to grow.
“What we have noticed is that there is a significant improvement from what we had during the presidential [poll] in this gubernatorial election,” she stated.
“We have seen the presence of personnel, ad-hoc staff. There is hope, we must continue to keep hope alive and know that when there is an improvement, things will be better for us in Nigeria.”
‘Election Not War’
Worried by the palpable fear of violence, the human rights activist called on everyone to shun acts that can disrupt the exercise.
Rather than election being seen as warfare, she said polls should be seen as a “picnic” that will attract Nigerians from different walks of life together.
On the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) deployed by INEC, Okei-Odumakin is optimistic that the technological device will function well.
According to her, the essence of the BVAS is to enhance credibility, transparency and to also ensure that votes count.
Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his counterpart in the Labour Party (LP), Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour have both cast their vote as of the time of this report.
It is expected that results should start trickling in from Sunday or Monday with respective governors and lawmakers elected to serve for the next four years.