Lagos State Police Commissioner Idowu Owohunwa rejects allegations of widespread instances of voter suppression and violence during Lagos guber elections (video)
Lagos State Police Commissioner Idowu Owohunwa has dismissed reports of widespread violence and voter suppression during the state gubernatorial election held on Saturday 18 March.
In an interview with Channels TV, Owohunwa confirmed the attacks on voters and poll workers recorded at some polling stations in Lagos, saying, “It is true that we have recorded instances of violence in some parts of the state. “. He added, however, that the incidents were “not widespread enough to affect the general dynamics of the process”.
According to him, most of the cases were “responded to correctly by the police because we anticipated them”.
When asked if the command had anticipated the violence, he replied: “Yes, in some cases. As security practitioners, when planning operations of this nature, you must anticipate that certain elements will want to become adversaries in the process. We anticipated and then integrated this into our general operational plan and activated this protocol effectively in this case. Most of these offenses the police were able to react quickly.
Owohunwa also responded to claims accompanying some viral videos of alleged ballot box theft incidents.
Regarding a video of voters supposedly subduing a young man suspected of snatching a ballot box, the police commissioner said
“That in itself is illegal; two wrongs cannot make a right.
He added that contrary to reports on social media, the young man is alive, having been rescued by police and other security agencies and the alleged election offender is receiving medical treatment.
“He’s stable, he’s not dead,” Owohunwa said.
The PC noted that police were collating cases within their jurisdiction, saying “numerous arrests” and “recoveries” had been made.
“In most of these ballot box theft cases, we recovered virtually all of the ballot boxes,” he said.
Speaking on the reports of disenfranchisement in the Eti-Osa Local Government Area (LGA), Owohunwa said the area had not presented a major challenge.
“Rather, where we have problems now, I think, is around VGC [Victoria Garden City]especially anyway, and the issue was more about moving voting units from inside the estate to a location outside the gate,” he said.
“This is within the mandate of INEC, and when my attention was drawn to it, I brought the attention of the REC to the development. As we speak, he has personally visited the scene and is trying to Engage the electorate, so they can find common ground.
Watch a video of him speaking below