Inside Epe community of Lagos State, Eko Hot Blog looks into the opinions of voters ahead of the governorship election.
The question over voter safety and electoral violence remains a constant debate in the minds of the Epe electorates despite optimism of a free and fair process going into the day of the election.
Igwe Ferdinand Agwunike advocates support for Sanwo-Olu ahead of the elections from the Igbo people in the Epe community.
EKO HOT BLOG reports on the feeling and the mood within the Epe community in Epe ahead of the governorship election on March 18, 2023, as a window into the opinion of the people was uncovered going into the very morning of the elections.
The elections in Epe is set to cover both the governorship elections and the House of Assembly elections that has Honorable Abiodun Mustainu Tobun contesting under the flagship of the All Progressives Congress for the Epe I constituency, and Honorable Sylvester Ogunkelu also contesting under the flagship of the APC for Epe II federal constituency.
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Ahead of the elections, the Epe community embraced the calm that usually serves as a prelude to elections, with the streets and its people going about their usual daily activities like every normal day.
However, speaking up close with its indigenes, the narratives surrounding whether the election may be marred by violence became the bone of contention in the minds of senior indigenes of the community.
Some weighed in on the allegations labeled on APC member, MC Oluomo in regards to a statement made prior to the election, pertaining to the Igbo ethnic group residing as one of the major tribes in Lagos State.
It is speculated that MC Oluomo had threatened the South Easterners from voting any other candidate but the APC in the gubernatorial polls going into the elections. This influenced debates and narratives online about voter safety.
The Epe community however, downplayed such narratives, as they expressed optimism in the voting process and in the security operatives to abide by its duties in protecting civilians. Some indigenes however expressed fear in a repeat of the complaints labeled on the February 25th polls concerning the BVAS machines.
A notable indigene of the Eraido community in Epe, EKO HOT BLOG was privileged to have spoken with was Igwe Ferdinand Agwunike, the Eze Ndigbo of Eraido community and the PRO of council of Ndi-ezes of Lagos State, who spoke in much detail about the governorship elections and the discord of tribalism, religion and violence that were being sewn.
Igwe Ferdinand Agwunike acknowledges that these themes cannot be removed from the Nigerian politics owing to the fact that there has been less to none orientation for the common folks.
Highlighting on why the State elections will be more different to the presidential elections, he said:
“It is very obvious. State elections are more rooted compared to that of federal elections,”
Speaking on the disparity between the general population of the Epe community and the registered voters, who were noted to be considerable fewer,
“There will be more turn out when it has to do with governorship elections and house of Assembly elections, on that note, it is obvious Nigerians would troop out to express their franchise,”
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He also expressed his views on the need for the Yoruba and Igbo communities in Lagos and Epe in particular to build its bonds by ensuring the incumbent Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu is voted in for a second term, a fact he acknowledges would not be a doubt.
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