Ondo LG Polls: Mixed reactions over Election Conduct
Counter opinion has been reported over the Ondo local government poll held today. Although the Ondo State Independent electorial Commission had promised a violent free election, the reverse was the case in some polling units.
Snatching of ballot boxes and late arrival of electoral materials formed part of the experience for electorates who expressed dismay over the act.
At Ward 4, Unit 19, in Akure South Local Government Area of the state, voters protested snatching of ballot box by some persons believed to be working for All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mrs. Bisi Aderemi, Woman Leader of SDP in the ward, disclosed that the hoodlums stormed the polling unit on 10 motorbikes with three persons on each bike fully armed with dangerous weapons and snatched the ballot box and the remaining ballot papers booklets and zoomed off.
Joseph Olorunfemi Kehinde, Social Democratic Party (SDP) councillorship candidate in the Ward. explained that APC thugs were raiding polling units and forcefully thumb printing ballot papers and stuffing the ballot boxes in some polling units.
She disclosed that she was offered N30,000 by an APC leader(names withheld) to allow them cart away the ballot box in the unit.
Meanwhile, the election was peaceful in some areas of the state.
Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu who voted at 10. 44 am in his Ward 5, Unit 6 Polling Uniit in Ijebu, Owo Local Government commended the conduct of the local government poll, describing the exercise as a huge success.
He described the turnout for the election as impressive, adding that the turnout for the governorship election would even be better.
According to the governor, the local government remains the most important tier because it is the closest to the people and will ensure better delivery of the dividends of democracy.
He also noted that the electorate complied with the COVID-19 regulations in areas where he monitored, urging them to vote and return to their houses.
In his words: “It is imperative by the constitution that we have democratically elected government at all levels.What we are doing is not extraordinary, but it is constitutional and I am one of those that want it”
He prays that the set of elected chairmen and councillors will be the first that will spend their three years completely.
“I have made my case for local government autonomy; since I came in, I have not touched local government money, they do their meetings and share their money,” he added.
State Chairman of APC, Engr. Ade Adetimehin told journalists in Idanre, Idanre Local Government Area of the state that there was no violence in the town.
He charged members of his party to conduct themselves the same way during the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.
Adetimehin urged the people of the town to troop out to perform their civic duties on October 10, 2020.
He commended the electoral commission officers for quick arrival of electoral materials, adding that security agencies performed creditably very well.
Chief Alex Ajipe, CEO, Kilck Konnect Network International At Emure Ward 11, Unit 16 in Owo Local Government Area, described the conduct of the election as peaceful. He commended the electoral commission officers for arriving at the polling unit early.
Ajipe revealed that some of the voters arrived at the polling unit as early as 6am because they took the election seriously being the closest government to the people.
Bamidele Oleyelogun, Speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly cast his vote at Isarun/Erigi Wards 10, 11 and 13 in Ifedore Local Government Area.
The turnout at the polling units was encouraging and peaceful.
Oleyelogun said the ODIEC performed creditably very well. He disclosed that the voting materials arrived early enough There was no violence in the town.
The Peoples Democratic Party is not participating in the polls, as it had withdrawn from the election, citing issues of credibility.
The Social Democratic Party withdrew its participation a day to the election after its members were violently attacked in Idanre.
The Zenith Labour Party, which was looking good to do well at the polls, also withdrew its participation after it raised concerns of violence against its members and fairness on the part of the ODIEC.
ODIEC Spokesman, Rotimi Olufemi, when contacted on the issues, said his office was yet to receive details on the developments on the field.