The management of the Lagos State University has debunked reports that it disenfranchised voters by denying them access to the polling unit situated within the campus on Saturday.
Reacting to the claims which surfaced on social media, the university management, in a statement, denied that the school gate was shut against the voters, stressing that the voters had rather arrived earlier before the presence of the INEC officials.
The statement signed by the LASU registrar, Emmanuel Fanu, further stated that the institution’s main gate has been under lock since Thursday, adding that the pedestrian gate has been accessible to people who have genuine business to do within the institution premises.
It read in part, “Against this background, we wish to place on record as follows, that:
“The university is currently on a break from all academic and administrative activities in line with the ministerial directive on the closure of institutions for the 2023 General Elections;
“Due to the closure, and in view of security considerations, the University main gates have been placed under lock and key since Thursday, 23rd February 2023 and only the pedestrian gates are open to allow people with genuine business on the campus entry;
“As of the morning of Saturday, 25th February 2023 when the election was to hold, the university authority was yet to be communicated by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission on the exact location of the polling unit in the vast university compound.”
According to the school management, the viral post was made by the voter loitering around the school gate while they awaited the presence of INEC officials.
“The INEC officials did not arrive until around 10 a.m., after which they decided on the location of the Polling Unit. It was apparently during this period that several videos were taken and made to go viral” LASU Management
This was said to have attracted the attention of the security operatives who ushered them away from the gate till the arrival of the INEC officials and the eventual opening of the main gate for voters to exercise their franchise.
“Several voters who arrived early gained entrance into the university but because there was no information on the exact Polling Unit location, they were left loitering around the campus, which in itself was a security concern,” the statement added.
“Against this background, the security department was directed to shut the pedestrian gate until the INEC officials arrive at the campus and decide on the location of the Polling Unit. This explanation was made to those at the gate at the time;
“The INEC officials did not arrive until around 10 a.m., after which they decided on the location of the Polling Unit. It was apparently during this period that several videos were taken and made to go viral;
“As soon as the location was decided, the gate was open and all eligible voters were allowed into the campus and to the polling unit without any restriction;
“Polling has since been held peacefully at the campus and results have been counted and announced.”