4th February, 2023
A civil society organization, the Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM) has condemned in the strongest terms, the crude and illegal invasion of the Oshodi local government council area office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos by Labour Party supporters led by Prof. Pat Utomi.
Executive Director of the organistion, Nelson Ekujumi, stated that, “We were shocked and our collective sensibilities assaulted in watching on a national TV on the 2nd of February 2023, how Prof Pat Utomi and his bunch of Labour party hoodlums invaded a national security zone as represented by the Oshodi LG office of INEC and addressed a press conference in the premises, whereby he condemned the collection of the PVC in the local government council area and made all sorts of accusations against the electoral body.”
CPPM stated that, “It is not in doubt that Prof Pat Utomi as a member of the labour party has a right to air his views on any national issue, but he must do so in a civilized manner and at any location other than within a national security zone of the electoral umpire, his criminal invasion of the Oshodi local government council area office of INEC with his labour party hoodlums represents an assault on our democracy and constitutes a threat to national security which must be investigated and redressed to prevent a reoccurrence by other thuggery minded political party chieftains like himself.”
The civil society organization warned that if this act of hooliganism is not condemned and necessary legal action taken against the supporters led by Utomi, it might be a dress rehearsal of what to expect during the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
The group said, “We are however glad to note that the Lagos State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of INEC Mr. Olusegun Agbaje while condemning the hooliganism of Prof Pat Utomi and his political party thugs, has made it known publicly that this act of assault on our democracy has been reported to the appropriate security agencies for investigation and necessary action.”
“The sanctity of our democratic process requires eternal vigilance and zero tolerance for any act of hooliganism such as exhibited by Prof Pat Utomi and his labour party thugs which is inappropriate, unacceptable and stands condemned in its entirety,” CPPM. said.