Only PDP agents at polling units
Turnout very impressive, says Fayose, SIEC
Low turnout yesterday marred the conduct of the local government election, as many voters shun the polling centres in most parts of the 16 local government councils in the state.
During monitoring of the exercises, only the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, agents were seen in virtually all the 2,195 across 177 wards in the state, in the election conducted by Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission, EKSIEC, that five political parties were expected to participate in the election.
However, Governor Ayodele Fayose, had on Friday reviewed the restriction order to last till 2pm.
In Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State capital, over where 130,000 voters were expected to vote, only 16 voters have been accredited and voted as at 11.20am out of the 626 registered voters at ward 05 unit 016 Oke Iyinmi, while only 20 out of 1,250 registered voters did same at unit 008 ward 9.
At Ajitadundun polling unit 006 ward 9 , 16 were accredited out of 1, 471 as at 11.41 am, while 18 out of 1,046 were accredited and voted at unit 17 ward 10 as at 11.49am.
But a higher turnout was witnessed at Ijigbo Ward 4 unit 007, where 105 were confirmed to have been accredited and voted out of 581 registered voters at about 12pm.
At Agbado/Oyo Ward, Unit 003 of Ikere Ekiti in Ikere Council Area, only 35 were accredited out of 426 registered voters as at 10.10 am, while a total of 32 were accredited at unit 004 out of 405 in the same ward. Also, at Oke Iruku Ward, unit 005, 54 out of over 500 were accredited as at 10.30am.
Governor Fayose, who spoke on the conduct of the elections, described the elections as very free, fair and credible, while also lauding the voters for turning out massively to cast their votes.
“The information we are getting have been impressive. The turnout was impressive. In some places, the turnout was very impressive, while people came out late in some areas. But, the turnout has been impressive.
“I have been contacting those on the field, what we are getting were quite impressive and I commend our people for that,” he declared.
In their reaction to the local government poll in the state, the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ekiti State, who boycotted the election, commended the voters for boycotting the Saturday local government election.
APC said “it said the people behaved honourably for staying away from the election boycotted by all political parties except the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
In a statement by publicity secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, the party said the widespread apathy observed across the state was evidence that Ekiti people had rejected Governor Fayose and his PDP.
The party described the exercise as a mockery of democratic election, saying an election with a single party participating while also raising PDP members to pose as candidates of obscure parties would never pass the test of representative poll.
The party added that across the state, Ekiti people spoke with one voice by staying in their homes and watched from a distance as PDP members engaged in multiple thumb-printing to give the impression that there was massive turn-out of voters.
“To cover their shame in most of the empty polling units, PDP members and Fayose’s political appointees engaged in multiple thumb-printing to give a false impression of a large turn-out of voters,” he explained.
Condemning Fayose for holding the election despite pendency of the election case at the Court of Appeal, the party also accused the governor of wasting N300 million of taxpayers’ money on an election that would not stand the test of legality.
He said: “Fayose is playing games with Ekiti people by voting N300 million of the state’s money to his party for his kangaroo election.
“We know that the money allocated for the exercise is more important to Fayose than the actual election because we know that more than half of the N300m will end up in private pocket.”
The party also frowned at the governor’s directive, asking political appointees to be deployed as election observers, saying the council election was a “contest between PDP and PDP.”
“The council election was a PDP affair with PDP contesting against itself. It is purely a contest between PDP and PDP. We sympathise with his so-called candidates who just wasted their time and money to participate in an illegal election that cannot stand the test of constitutionality and integrity,” Olatunbosun concluded.
Commenting on the election, the Chairman of the EKSIEC, Justice Kayode Bamisile, said the electorate participated well, adding that those who had anything against the election should challenge it at the election tribunal.