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Presidential And National Assembly Election In Ogun, Osun Peaceful Despite Fear Of Violence

March 19, 2023

One of the observers who worked in Osun state during the elections, Faith Alofe, in a chat with Development News Nigeria said the election was peaceful as electorates were observed to be lively and at peace in their conduct. 


The 2023 presidential elections held on Saturday February 25, 2023 were adjudged peaceful in Ogun and Osun States despite the fears expressed by residents ahead of the elections as a result of attacks on INEC offices located in the two States. Election observers who were present in the Ogun and Osun States during the elections confirmed to Development News Nigeria that even though there were noticeable glitches in the electioneering process which led to delay in the commencement of accreditation and voting, residents of both states conducted themselves peacefully while the elections went on. 

One of the observers who worked in Osun state during the elections, Faith Alofe, in a chat with Development News Nigeria said the election was peaceful as electorates were observed to be lively and at peace in their conduct. 

“The election in Osogbo where I observed, and other parts of the state was peaceful, I can confirm. There was no fear of violence on the part of voters and they all conducted themselves well.”

Faith further noted however that there was a delay in time as accreditation started late because INEC officials arrived late at some polling units and could not begin on time.

“In some polling units, it was observed that voters were kept waiting for a while because INEC officials arrived late and accreditation began late due to that, but the people only waited patiently for them to arrive and when they came and arranged their equipment, they began to check their names and accreditation as well as voting began.”



There had earlier been concerns about the possible outbreak of violence due to attacks on the INEC offices in Ede south local local government, Osun state and Iyana mortuary area in Abeokuta, Ogun state. 

The residents who expressed their concerns while speaking with our correspondent during a visit to both communities noted that although they were willing to participate in the election as they believed it was an opportunity for them to decide who leads the country for the next four years, they were afraid there could be a breakdown of law and order by suspected political thugs who allegedly attacked the INEC facilities. 

During a visit to the INEC facility at Iyana Mortuary, Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, DEVELOPMENT NEWS NIGERIA observed that even though the facility is located in the heart of the city and surrounded closely by many residential buildings, shops, and a mechanic workshop, only the INEC office was affected by the attack.

Ogun state INEC office after attack Credit: Legit News

A resident of the area, Mutiu Akorede, said the attack was suspected to have been perpetrated by suspected political thugs representing parties and candidates who are not confident of victory in the 2023 elections adding that residents of the area could not do anything to prevent the situation as it happened in the wee hours of the night. 

He however noted that the burning of the facility has not discouraged residents of the area as well as voters registered in the local government who were yet to collect their PVCs, from doing so. 

“It was thugs that are being used by politicians and their parties that perpetrated the attack because they fear that the people will vote against them in the coming elections. The people are suffering and they are ready to use their PVCs to vote out wicked political parties and their candidates. But God helped them that they came when people were already sleeping, otherwise, they would not have gone scot free”. You know, by the time they came, we were already asleep. So, we could not prevent them from burning the place. It was when we woke up in the morning that we saw that the building had been burnt down.”

Another resident of the Iyana Mortuary area identified as Paul Oluko however noted that the attack on the INEC office has watered his hopes in the forthcoming general elections as he doesn’t trust that the process would be a free and fair one. 

Oluko said he’s no longer interested in voting because he fears that he may be attacked during the elections. 

“who will want to risk their life just to vote? If all of these are happening now, imagine what will happen on election day. I cannot go out and risk getting killed because if I die, there will be no one to take care of my children. So, I can’t vote. I have collected my PVC o but I can’t take the risk and go and die”.   

Similarly, another office of the INEC located at Oke Iresi, in Ede south local government area of Osun state was set ablaze on the same day. 

Oke Iresi INEC Office after Attack.
Credit: Sahara Reporters

During a visit to the scene of the incident, DNNobserved that only a section of the office was affected by the fire leaving the roof and some other furniture burnt. 

Although reluctant to speak with the press, residents of Oke Iresi, Ede south local government of Osun state also noted their displeasure in the attack on the INEC facility in the area, noting that it’s a sign of violent elections in 2023. 

One of the residents, Abiodun Fashola, a motorcyclist who spoke with DNN said the attack was carried out to disenfranchise Nigerians who were yet to get their PVCs. 

“Their plan is to make it impossible for people to vote so that they can win, and they know that the easiest way for them is to make it impossible for people to get their PVCs. That’s why they are burning down INEC offices because they know that people’s PVCs are kept there.” 

Another resident, a trader in the Ede market expressed her fears about the development noting that it’s more worrisome for her as her house is near one of the polling units in the local government. 

“My own fear about the whole attack is the possibility of a breakout of violence during the elections. See, it is clear from all indications that the election is very likely to be a bloody one. What if they start shooting and stray bullets enter my house? My house is just beside my polling unit. What if they shoot into my house in an attempt to snatch ballot boxes or prevent people from voting for their chosen candidate.”

She further noted that even though she has her PVC and she’s willing to participate in the elections, she’s afraid of a possible violence outbreak. 

“I have my PVC already and I want to vote because I have a candidate in mind that I want to vote for. I will vote but I hope the election will not be taken over with thuggery and violence because I am scared, to be honest”. 

Both Ogun and Osun residents also noted in unison that they believe the attack was perpetrated by political thugs although they could not pin it on any political party in particular. 



A security expert and former Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni in an interview with Development News Nigerianoted that the peaceful conduct of the election is premised on the preparation of the INEC in collaboration with necessary security agencies, especially in the states where attacks on INEC facility had taken place ahead of the elections. 

“The election was adjudged to be peaceful and we must commend the INEC for what was witnessed in terms of security during the elections as a result of the preparation of the INEC in collaboration with various security agencies, especially the police to ensure that the outcome of the election is just as peaceful as we witnessed during that election. If you noticed, you would have seen the INEC holding various meetings with security agencies in preparation for the elections just to make sure we had a peaceful one. So, the INEC and the security agencies should be commended.”

Owoseni who is the Special Adviser to the Oyo state governor on security matters, further noted that the peaceful outcome of the election was a reflection of the people’s determination to make sure they exercise their franchise without any form of hindrance from anybody, either security agents or non-state actors. 

“We must also give kudos to the people because it is their resolve to exercise their franchise without any form of a hindrance either from political agents or security agents, that made the job generally easier for everyone. The people in the states you went to observe also have an understanding of the situation and could not have had a wrong estimation of it ahead of the election and so, they realized the need to ensure that the elections went peacefully with their cooperation with the security agents and the INEC staff.”

He noted that important measures must be taken to ensure that the governorship and state houses of assembly elections also turn out peaceful. 

“I believe the INEC had a review of the Anambra, Osun, and Ekiti states’ elections conducted ahead of the general elections to make sure all mistakes made then were corrected and all wrongs are made right to have a better general election. I want to believe the INEC will do the same ahead of the governorship elections in order to ensure that all the mistakes made in the general elections are corrected too. So, it is important for both security agents and citizens to continue to work with INEC to make sure that things go well.”