Lagos State University, Ojo, has said it did not shut its gate against voters on Saturday during the presidential and National Assembly elections as reported in social media and some news platforms.
LASU in a statement signed by its Registrar, Mr Emmanuel Fanu, explained that the videos which went viral showing voters outside the gate of the school must have been recorded while the school authority was waiting for INEC officials to arrive and identify the point of voting on the campus.
He said, “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’s 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 authorities were 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.
“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.”
It said it was as a result of this that the security department was directed to shut the pedestrian gate until the INEC officials arrived at the campus and decided on the location of the polling unit. It noted that this explanation was made to those at the gate at the time.
It added, “The INEC officials did not arrive until around 10am, 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 upon, 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.”
Fanu added that it was unkind and indeed malicious for some individuals to attempt to give the institution a bad name for reasons best known to them.