Gunshots have been reported in parts of Lagos, with Labour Party (LP) alleging that its chieftain, Prof Pat Utomi, and some others have been held hostage and election results being changed at collation centres in parts of the state.
The allegations are contained in a statement issued this Sunday morning, February 26, 2023, by Chairman, Contact and Mobilisation/Special Duties of Labour Party and Head of Grassroots Mobilisation of the Obi-Datti 2023 Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), Veteran Olawale Okunniyi.
Okunniyi, otherwise known as the National Chief Mobiliser of the Labour Party and Obidient Movement under the banner of the Big Tent of the 3rd Force Movement of Nigeria, tasked the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, “to urgently move to check the growing incidents of non-upload of elections results for collation, especially in Lagos and its environs due to unfounded excuses from compromised INEC officials that BVAS have suddenly stopped functioning for transmission and collation results.”
Okunniyi, otherwise known as the National Chief Mobiliser of the Labour Party and Obidient Movement under the banner of the Big Tent of the 3rd Force Movement of Nigeria, further said: “We also frown at the on-going disruptions of collation of elections results and violence in Lagos as reports from our men and women on the field indicate infliction of violence and assault on Labour Party Agents and Representatives, among who are renowned political economist and Convener of the Big Tent, Prof Pat Utomi, at collation centres in Lagos with heavy sporadic shooting to prevent collation of results from the polling units, where the ruling APC lost the elections.
“We, therefore, call on Nigerian Security Forces to urgently move to neutralise this ongoing thuggery and violence in most parts of Lagos, including Eti Osa, Ejigbo, Ishaga and Oshodi areas, among others, where thugs are currently having a field day assaulting and holding electoral officials and Labour Party representatives hostage.
“Intelligence report at our disposal also reveals that some INEC officials in connivance with political Chieftains of the ruling Parties are presently engaged in falsification of elections results at the collation centres and that there are also strong plots to trade off the votes of the Labour Party and Peter Obi in some South states.
“INEC officials concerned in this conspiratorial falsification and merchandising are hereby warned to immediately desist from this fraudulent act in order not to incur the wrath of already frustrated masses of Nigeria.
“Finally, we wish to plead with INEC strongly to ensure that all results uploaded on their portal for collation tally with the results signed and handed over to the polling units Agents of political parties at the polling units in order to prevent the present machinations of some politicians to discredit and scuttle the 2023 elections.”