The Lagos State Police Command has said a traditional ruler would be invited for questioning over a recorded audio, which appeared to threaten and intimidate residents of a community in Eti-Osa area of the state.
Its spokesman, Mr. Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday, while reacting to the audio that had gone viral.
“The traditional ruler, a Baale, is to be invited for questioning. Intimidating voters will not be allowed.
“Everyone should feel free to vote for the candidate of his or her choice,” Hundeyin said.
A recorded audio of a meeting held on Monday at the instance of the traditional ruler went viral and has attracted the attention of security agencies and civil societies in Lagos State.
In the 11 minutes and 34 seconds audio, the traditional ruler and one other requested the residents and those doing business in the area to vote for a political party in the forthcoming elections.
The traditional ruler, in his voice, wanted to know how many persons at the meeting had their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) and only about 20 answered in the affirmative, out of about 60 persons in attendance.
He wondered what happened to the rest who did not have PVCs.
“If we take the number of people here, we will not be less than 60, but only 20 have PVCs; what is happening to the rest?
“We are ready to fight; yes, I am not hiding it; I have narrated everything to you. In Nigeria, there is Lagos; in Lagos, there is Eti-Osa; within Eti-Osa, we have an Igbara community and by the grace of God in Igbara today, we can make our decision.
“The people that will be friends with us, that will do business with us are those with PVCs and are willing to vote for our party. Nothing short of that,” he said in the audio.
The traditional ruler further said that if the people intended to vote for other political parties outside the one specified, he wouldn’t stop them from doing so, but that such will only happen “outside Igbara community.”
“You want to vote for other political parties? Not here! Elections have been coming and going, we have never done this before.”
The traditional ruler was quoted as saying that a lot was at stake, warning that he would not allow the residents to jeopardise his future and the future of his children.
NAN quotes a second voice in the audio as telling the meeting that only those that will vote for the chosen party would enjoy peace in the area.
The voice even requested them to vote and snap the ballot paper to confirm that they had conformed to the directive to support a particular party.