Olusegun Agbaje, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner REC, in Lagos State has blamed some members of its staff and vehicle owners for delays in commencement of Presidential and National Assembly election process in some areas of the state.
Agbaje disclosed this while responding to questions from newsmen after monitoring the electoral process in polling units in Somolu and Kosofe Local Government Areas, LGAs.
“I think they (the LGAs) had some challenges with some of the staff as well as vehicle owners,” Agbaje said.
According to him, the commission after obtaining reports of such delays, swiftly put machineries in place to get materials and staff to those areas.
He said: “I am sure voting must have started in those areas by now because when the issues were raised, we have called the Electoral Officers (EOs), I am sure they have mobilised to the areas.
“The assurance is that nobody will leave the polling units until the last person has voted in those areas.
“We will not finish elections in those areas until the last person has voted. We have sent a message to all EOs that on no account should anybody be allowed to leave the PUs without voting.
“Everybody on queue will have to vote until the last person but when it is 2.30pm, the queue will be blocked but those who are already inside will be allowed to vote before the end of the exercise.”
On lessons learnt, Mr Agbaje said the commission had taken note of few challenges observed, especially the congestion of some polling units, and would address them in future elections.
He said that while voters trooped out en mass in some polling units, some other polling units did not have crowd of voters.
The commissioner commended Lagos residents for being peaceful and for appreciating what the commission had done to give elections more credibility in the country.
On complaints that the Labour Party was not on the ballot in some constituencies, Agbaje linked this to court cases on the affected areas.
Mr Agbaje, however, stated that it was not true that LP was totally omitted from the ballot.
“Most of the areas concerned have court challenges not INEC challenges. It is court cases and the ones that the court has given us directive to go ahead, we put them in the ballot..
“They (LP) are in 14 constituencies out of the 24 Federal Constituencies in Lagos state.. So it is not true that they are not in the ballot,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the REC who set out to monitor the election process at 1.10pm, visited Polling Units 030, 011, 010 all in ward 08, Igbobi-Fadeyi, Somolu Local Government Area (LGAs).