Saturday, May 12, 2018 1:49 pm
Accreditation and voting have commenced simultaneously across many polling centres in Oyo State as the local government election got underway amid low turnout.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the exercise is holding in the 33 local governments and 35 Local Council Development Areas newly created by the state government.
Personnel of the Nigeria Police, Department of State Services (DSS) and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) were sighted at polling units as well as strategic locations in the state.
Many residents also complied with the restriction order on vehicular movement although only few voters turned up for the exercise in which the opposition Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and several other parties are not participating.
While officials of the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) arrived on time with the necessary voting materials at many polling units, there were few voters on the queue.
At Ward 8, Unit 13 polling Unit on Ring Road in Ibadan metropolis, only four voters were on the queue as at 10:24 am.
OYSEIC arrived at 10:10 am at Ajeigbe area of Ring Road, Ibadan, where Ward 5, Unit 2 Polling Unit is located while accreditation and voting commenced at 10:45 am.
According to the Presiding Officer, Mrs Bukola Olawuyi, OYSEIC had provided enough voting materials to accommodate all registered voters.
“We will, however, not be making use of the card reader machines as they were not provided.
“Once your name is on the list and you possess a voter card, you are eligible to vote,” she said.
As at 11.am, election materials were yet to arrive at Ward 8, Units 5,6 and 7 Awaye/Osengere Polling Centre in Egbeda Local Government while no OYSIEC staff was sighted.
Intending voters were seen in groups discussing about the absence of the electoral officers.
A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Party (APC) in the area, Mr Folorunso Abioye, assured the voters that OYSIEC staff and materials would soon arrive.
While accreditation and voting were ongoing at Ward 2, PU 01, 02, 03, 04 in Egbeda Local Government Area, there was a low turnout, with only 70 voters having been accredited as at 11.20 a.m.
In Oyo town, there was a also a poor turnout of voters, with Mrs Basirat Hamzat, the Presiding Officer in Ward 9, Unit 3, Ojongbodu area, saying “ voters are coming in trickles.’’
She also confirmed the non-use of the card reading machines, adding that “Voters are free to vote immediately they are accredited. ‘’
OYSEIC officials were yet to arrive at Ward 6, Unit 2, Ajanpati, in Oyo as at 9:3 0 am.
But reacting to the low turnout, Mr John Ajeigbe, the Chairman of OYSIEC, said the commission had done the necessary publicity for the election, insisting that voting would stop at 3 pm.
He, however, expressed optimism that the exercise would be free, fair and credible.