…PDP calls for cancellation
Elections were yesterday conducted into 20 local government and 37 local council development areas of Ogun State by the state Independent Electoral Commission, OGSIEC, amidst wild protest.
The PDP, UPN, have however, called for cancellation of the polls
The election which started across 236 wards and 113 area units had 17 political parties that took part in the election which started as early as 8am across the state.
Modified voting process of accreditation and voting simultaneously was adopted by the electoral body while the voters were also allowed to use Temporary Voter Cards in the absence of Permanent Voter Cards.
Based on the initial declaration by OGSIEC, Card Readers were not used for the voting as voters were handed ballot papers immediately their names were sighted on the voters register.
The election was adjudged very peaceful across the state while the turnout was relatively impressive in most part of the state.
Though there were pockets of complaints from some quarters especially in Ogun East Senatorial District but electoral officers were sighted very early in Ogun Central and West Senatorial Districts.
The security situation was also impressive as the no-movement order was enforced by the combined team of security operatives led by the Assistance Inspector General of Police, AIG, Zone II, Abdulmajid Ali.
While the ruling party lauded the process of the election, other opposition parties of Peoples Democratic Party, and Unity Party of Nigeria described the process as a charade calling for the cancellation.
Governor IbikunleAmosun who voted, alongside his wife, Olufunso, some minutes after 12 in his Ajura ward in ObafemiOwode local government area of the state described the process as very peaceful and fair.
He said, “History is being made today, this is the first time elections are being held into, not only the existing 20 local government areas of the state but also newly created LCDAs.
“I feel great because we are not just voting today, but we are making history. I have said it that this election is more important than the governorship election, not just because is the closest to the people, but because in the history of our state.
“We are about 40 years and a half now and this is the first time we would be having LCDA alongside our local governments so, we are making history.”
The governor added that the newly created LCDAs will, among other things, ensure that government and social services are brought much closer to the people in the local communities.
In Ayetoro, the Headquarters of Yewa North Local Government Council, officials of OGSIEC arrived all the polling units early with election materials while the voters too were also enthusiastic to vote for parties and candidates of their respective choices.
At Ayetoro ward 1, Mechanic junction polling unit, where the Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, SurajAdekunbi, voted, the turn out was relatively impressive.
Same scenario was observed at the AUD 1 polling unit, Ayetoro ward 3 and other locations visited by the turned out to vote while PDP and APC party agents were also present.
Adekunbi expressed satisfaction with the exercise, saying it was a reflection of the confidence the people reposed in APC government in the state.
He noted that the system adopted this time by OGSIEC made it stress- free and removed cases of crowding as voters voted immediately upon accredition unlike the usual method of accrediting voters, asking them to wait or go home for a while and then return to cast their votes later.
The Speaker expressed the confidence that the candidates of the APC would all have a successful and emerged winners when the polls is concluded.
Also, former Information Commissioner and leader of APC in Ogun West Senatorial district, KunleElegbede, described the exercise as “flawless.”
According to the ex – Editor of Daily Times, the victory for APC and its candidates is certain adding that the performance of Governor IbikunleAmosun has made things easier for them.
The Deputy Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon TaiwoOluomo who also voted in his ward 19, Oluomo quarters in Ifo local government area of the state described the election as peaceful adding that the victory of APC was certain.
Its’ deceit – UPN
The 2015 Governorship candidate of the Unity Party Of Nigeria (UPN) in the state, RotimiPaseda has expressed dissatisfaction over the conduct of the election describing it as “a deceit”.
Paseda, who spoke at his Omu residence in Odogbolu Local Government, after the election said that election materials were not sufficient and that they had to travel to Odogbolu town to request for more materials.
“We cannot do anything else except to make our voice heard and show our dissatisfaction. As far as we in the UPN are concerned, this local government election has not been credible.
“Some of our candidates have been getting video reports to prove the irregularities and that is what we will take to court later.
“If we cannot get judgment in court, we will abide by the rule of law, but there is a public opinion court, and that is where we are going to meet.
“We will ensure that we post the video recordings all over the social media and as long as they are embarrassed, it is enough for us,” he said.
PDP, Labour call for cancellation
The Chairmen of the Ogun chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour party, Hon. SikirulaiOgundele and AbayomiArabambi, respectively have called for the cancellation of the polls.
Ogundele made the call in Abeokuta in an interview with newsmen.
The Chairman said the cancellation had become necessary because the exercise was characterised by violence and irregularities.
The PDP chieftain alleged that there were many reported cases of ballot box snatching as well as other logistic challenges across the state.
He alleged that one of the PDP supporters, identified as Goodluck who was trying to prevent ballot snatching was shot in the chest at one of the polling centres at Ilara Remo in Remo North council area
The Chairman said that the victim was already receiving treatment at Babcock University Teaching Hospital in Remo Council area.
Ogundele also alleged that there were reports of sporadic shootings at Orile-Ilugun area in Odeda council area resulting from clashes between rival parties.
He explained that OGSIEC also created additional polling centres particularly in strongholds of the All Progressive Party (APC) without prior knowledge of opposition parties.
Arabambi in a telephone interview also condemned and called for the cancellation of the polls.
He said that the party had no confidence in the conduct of the polls, saying ” the state electoral agency has de-listed our party and therefore denied us from participating in the polls.’
The Chairman said that the party had already filed a suit against OGISIEC and would follow the case to a logical conclusion.