LG polls: No mask, no voting, electoral officers insist

Lagos State Local Government elections
Lagos State Local Government elections

Some voters at the Okerube Ward B Polling Unit (PU) 025 were sent back to get their masks before being accredited to vote in the ongoing election into Local Government Councils in Lagos State.

The Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), had made it a mandatory condition for voters seeking to exercise their rights.

The masks are a major health facility to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alhaji Kabiru Omotosho, a voter, who was turned back, said he was not angry over the directive, The News Agency of Nigeria reports.

"The officers did right by ensuring that COVID-19 protocols are adhered to.

"I was asked to go back; I don't know how and why I forgot to bring my nose mask. Maybe I was anxious and excited to vote.

"The officials did right by reminding us. The election is going as it should," he said.

Mrs Idiat Ajibike, a businesswoman, told NAN that she didn't plan to buy a nose mask but was forced to, as there was no choice.

"If not that I just want to vote, I would have just gone back. I don't like the fact that I must buy something against my wish.

"Walking back home is not an option because my place is far from here," she said.

An electoral officer, who preferred anonymity, said that there was enough publicity about the need for voters to come with their masks.

"This is a typical Nigerian attitude. They don't pay attention. By now, we all should be used to using this nose mask all the time.

"Imagine if there are no security agents around, some of them will insist that we must allow them to vote without it," she said.

Malam Abdurasak Isah, who has a kiosk nearby, told NAN that business was booming with many people rushing to buy nose masks.

"I will soon run out of stock. If I knew there will be high demand, I would have bought plenty, but I am glad I made sales. I have had these nose masks for months now.

"I am enjoying the patronage," he said.

Turnout has been slow, with many Lagos residents going about their normal activities unperturbed.

One such resident, Mrs Olaseni Idowu, a food vendor, said that she cooked so that electoral officers won't get hungry while working.

"I know that sales will be good today; a lot of people won't cook today, so I want to take advantage of today.

"Hunger is not friendly; some of us have to cook," she said.

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