…Faulty card readers, ballot box snatching, vote buying mar poll
Faulty card readers deployed by the Independent National Electoral Commission,INEC has reportedly marred the Ondo governorship election.
Also ballot box snatching has been witnessed with 4 arrest made in Igbokoda area of the state while allegation of vote buying also took place during the poll
For instance one of the card readers used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the governorship election failed to capture the biometrics of Governor Olusegun Mimiko. The incident happened at Ward 7, Unit 21, Ondo West local government area, where the governor cast his ballot.
However, the governor had to fill an incident form before he could cast his ballot.
But addressing reporters after voting, he expressed concerns over the hitches noticed from the card reader machines as well as in the accreditation process.
Also giving perspectives on the poll, yesterday candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Eyitayo Jegede accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of flooding his constituency in Akure with malfunctioning card readers in order to stop his supporters from voting.
He made the accusation after casting his vote at his polling unit in the Cathedral area of Akure, the Ondo state capital.
Though the PDP candidate expressed joy that he was reinstated as a candidate but was unhappy with numerous faulty card readers brought to his constituency in Akure. He said he was concerned why it was taking INEC so long to replace the malfunctioning card readers while calling on his supporter to stay on the queues and make sure they vote.
He further charged them to escort their ballots until they are taken to the final collation centre.
According to him: “I have voted. In my polling unit, it has been peaceful so far. I give glory to God that I am here. I am glad”.
“I have heard reports of the malfunctioning of the card readers. In substantial part of Akure South Local Government, the card readers have been malfunctioning. In some they have changed them, in some others they have not and our people are queuing and unfortunately they have not been able to cast their votes”.
“I have spoken to INEC officials that please in the name of God, change those malfunctioning card readers that they have deposited in our constituency.”
“They brought malfunctioning card readers to our constituency so that we will not vote. “And I tell them, allow our people who have voters cards and have been registered to vote to cast their votes. This is an opportunity in four years. Please for the sake of God allow our people to vote. “Our people must be steadfast. They must remain steadfast and insist on casting their votes and they must stay there and let those votes to be counted and they most escorts the result to the next collating Centre. “And from there to the local government centre and the final collation centre, people must accompany these results to the Collation Centre. “We are just starting and I have told you what challenges we have facing. Card rendering are not working and our people are not allowed to vote. It is only when card readers are functioning that you can say you have conducted a credible election. Card readers are not functioning.” He further lamented
But the state REC, MrAgbaje who spoke on the issue, said the electoral body has enough card readers to replace malfunctioning ones.
“We have enough card readers to replace the faulty ones and we have been doing just that,” he said.
Meanwhile unofficial results have stated trickling in with PDP, APC in hot contention for the governorship seat.
According to unofficial result from Unit 11, Ward 5 Akure south LGA: AD 41, PDP 65, APC 102.
At the Unit 13, Ward 4 polling booth in Akure south LGA, PDP 116, APC 134, AD 72.
Similarly Governor Olusegun Mimko has reportedly won his polling unit, Ward 07, Unit 20 ,Ondo west LGA. The result states: AD 15, APC 40, PDP 176.
In Unit 6, Ward 10 Akure south LGA, PDP had 100 votes, APC had 115 while AD came third with a distant 63 votes. Eight votes were rejected.
PDP’s candidate, Eyitayo Jegede has delivered his polling unit, winning with 184, APC 77, AD 32. In Unit 2, while in Ward 7, PDP polled 50, APC 38, AD 24.
Reports from Unit 1, Ward 7 also shows : PDP 47, APC 47, AD 17
In a related development, Members of the major political parties in the State governorship election have accused one another of inducing voters with money.
It was observed that members of the All Progressives Congress, the Peoples Democratic Party and the Alliance for Democracy were giving money to voters at most polling centres visited across the state.
Some polling units in Odigbo, Okitipupa and Ilaje local governments areas were given N450,000 while each voter got between N3,000 and N5,000.
28 political parties are featuring governorship candidates in the on-going election. Exactly 1,280,580 voters are expected to decide who the next governor of Ondo state will be.