Youths in Lagos who were denied the opportunity to cast their votes during the just concluded presidential and national assembly elections expressed grievances on Sunday outside one of the collection centers at the Lagos State Model Nursery and Primary School, Marina, Lagos.
They alleged being disenfranchised because no Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) official was present at their polling units (PU) on February 25 during the elections.
They chanted solidarity songs and shouted, “We must vote.”
However, security operatives, including the police and the army, were on the ground to ensure safety, orderliness, and peace in the area.
One of the irate youths, who preferred to be addressed as Charles, claimed that elections did not hold at Polling Unit 064, Ward 6, United Estate, Sangotedo.
“We did not see any INEC officials until now that I am here." What we want now is to vote; even if my candidate does not win, I know that I will justify my feelings in my own country.
“I want INEC to go there, allow us to vote; this is our era; we the youth must take our course,” he said.
Another disgruntled youth, Henry Mba, said that the primary school where elections were to be held had 10 polling units, but only seven out of the 10 cast their votes.
According to him, the three units where voters did not vote had the largest number of voters.
“Voters were present at those polling units till very late in the night, through to the early hours of this morning, hoping to still cast their votes,” Mba said.
Speaking to NAN, Mr Olubankole Wellington, known as Banky W, who was there to calm the youths, urged INEC to officially address stakeholders on the issues raised by the youths.
Banky W is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representative Candidate, Federal Constituency, Lagos State.
He said: “The days are gone when Nigerians will just sit by and allow people in authority to do whatever they want without being held accountable."
“So, what you are seeing is a community that is intending to hold the people in authority accountable, to allow them to exercise their civil rights, vote for who they want.
“Also, I think it is only fair, and at the end of the day, even if they are not ready to do it today, they should come out and address the people and let us know when they will vote.”
No INEC official was on ground to give comments.