Tension In Lagos, Ogun As Local Government Polls Hold Today
There is palpable fear in Lagos and Ogun states on Saturday, as residents have remained indoors due to possible security breaches during Saturday’s Local Council polls in both states.
This is despite the assurance by the Nigeria Police Force which said it had deployed human and material resources to provide adequate security before, during and after the council elections.
The force also warned that it would not tolerate violence and thuggery among politicians and their supporters.
In Lagos, the exercise, which would be conducted by the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission to elect chairmen and councillors, is expected to be held across the 20 local government areas and 35 local council development areas of the state.
The state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, in a statement, said the command had put measures in place to enforce the restriction of movement across the state between 6am and 3pm, adding that only those on election duty and essential services on the election day would be exempted.
He was quoted as saying, “We assure the good people of Lagos State, LASIEC officials, candidates, accredited election observers and other actors in the election of adequate security before, during and after the elections.”
Similarly, the Ogun State Police Command said it would deploy special weapons and tactics, anti-kidnapping and anti-cultism and police mobile force teams for the local government election in the state.
The Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission had announced that movement would be restricted between 8am and 2pm on Saturday while the election lasts.
The Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, in a statement on Thursday, said the command was working with other security agencies and would not give room for electoral malpractices or violence.
Both parties have expressed their readiness to participate in the Lagos State council election.
The state chapter of the APC urged residents to see the election as an opportunity to exercise their civic right to vote.
Source – Sahara Reporters
Bandits Sack Kaduna Police Station, Kill Officer In Attempt To Free Detainees
Suspected bandits have invaded a police station in Marraraban — Jos village in Kaduna State leaving a police officer dead.
It was gathered that the bandits attacked the station on Saturday in an attempt to release their detained colleagues.
A former senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, disclosed this in a tweet on his Twitter account.
He wrote, “Bandits raided a police formation in Marraraban-Jos village in the Outskirts of Kaduna in an attempt to free their detained men and they killed a police officer in Kundun-Zungeru, Niger State, the birthplace of the late President (Nnamdi) Azikiwe. The bandits and the police are battling.”
As of the time of filing this report, the bandits and police officers are still involved in a gun battle.
Source – Sahara Reporters
Anti-lockdown Protests Grip Australia, Clashes Erupt In Sydney
Thousands of anti-lockdown protesters gathered in Australia’s two largest cities on Saturday, with several arrested in Sydney after violent clashes with police.
A group charged mounted officers while throwing pot plants and bottles, as opponents of Sydney’s month-long stay-at-home orders took to the streets.
In Melbourne, local media said thousands of protesters had thronged the streets after gathering outside the state parliament in the early afternoon.
Maskless demonstrators flouted rules on non-essential travel and public gatherings a day after authorities suggested restrictions could remain in place until October.
Police in Sydney said they had launched a “high-visibility policing operation” in response to the protest.
“So far during the operation, a number of people have been arrested,” the force said.
Organisers had dubbed the protest a “freedom” rally and publicised it on social media pages frequently used to spread vaccine disinformation and conspiracy theories.
Attendees carried signs and banners reading “Wake up Australia” and “Drain the Swamp” — echoing messages seen in similar demonstrations overseas.
Helicopters buzzed the streets above Sydney, a city of five million people that is struggling to contain an outbreak of the Delta variant.
Well this sucks: anti-lockdown protesters from all over Sydney have staged a mass gathering in the Inner West. View few masks in sight, but plenty of COVID conspiracy t-shirts pic.twitter.com/4xEvR8olXN
— Zac Crellin (@zacrellin) July 24, 2021
Similar gatherings were planned in other urban centres.
The state of New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital, reported 163 new cases Saturday for a total of nearly 2,000 infections in the current outbreak.
After escaping much of the early pandemic unscathed, around half of Australia’s 25 million people are now in lockdown across several cities.
There is growing anger at the restrictions — which are often only partially observed — and the conservative government’s failure to provide adequate vaccine supplies.
Just 11 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.
Stephen Jones, a member of the national parliament from Sydney, condemned the protesters as “selfish, reckless idiots”.
“Nobody wants to be in lockdown. This is exactly how you keep it going.”
Police said they supported “free speech and peaceful assembly, however, today’s protest is in breach of the current COVID-19 Public Health Orders”.
Source – AFP