Osun election records impressive turnout amid tight security

Yinka Salaam, Osogbo

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People voting in Osun Gubernatorial election

The People of Osun State came out massively on Saturday to vote in the governorship election.

Accreditation of voters commenced at 8.00 am (local time), virtually in all the polling units across the state following the arrival of electoral officials and materials as early as 7am.

Visits to several polling units across the state sighted massive turnout of eligible voters on queues peacefully for the accreditation process.

New directive
In line with the new Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s  directive, voters were not allowed to take phones into the polling booths to curb vote buying.

Except, in view instances, marked improvement in the efficiency of Card Readers was equally noticed.

At Baruwa Ward 4, unit 19 and 20, Ward 10 polling unit 13, Fagbesa in Osogbo local government area, ward 8 unit 3 Olorunda local government and Ward 7, Eripa Boluwaduro Local government and ward 4, unit 10,Olobu road, Irepodun local government, reports that the officials and election materials arrived well ahead of time.

An official of the INEC, Mrs Alawode Abidemi at polling unit 1, ward 3, Ifon, Oloru Local Government said the officials arrived the polling centres with the election materials at about 6:30am (local time).

Mrs Abidemi said that ”the Card Reader machines were working perfectly in all the polling units.”

Security 
Security personnel, including the police and personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Federal Road Safety Corps among others were deployed in strategic locations.

At polling units on Ifon Road, eligible voters were accredited by the use of the card reader while the process was smooth due to the presence of security personnel.

Peaceful exercise
An Assistant Presiding Officer in the area, Herold Mercy said the exercise was peaceful and adequate materials were made available for the election.

Electoral officials were also at their duty posts ahead of the commencement of the accreditation stipulated by law.

Enthusiastic voters, mostly elderly people thronged the various polling centers in Orolu ward for voting.

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s candidate, Ademola Adeleke voted at exactly 8.05am at Ward 2 Unit 9 Saka Abogunde Area. He commended the exercise, the INEC and the security personnel.

A former Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Mr Adejare Bello who recently defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC voted at Ward 3 Unit 4, Ologun Agba Akin, Ede North.

He also commended the perfect arrangement of the process and its peaceful conduct.

A chieftain of PDP and former Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan and a chieftain of Social Democratic Party, Senator Olasunkanmi Akinlabi-Rasheed who both voted at Ode-Omu also commended INEC for a near-perfect exercise.

Mr Adesiyan and Senator Akinlabi-Rasheed urged other states to emulate the peaceful conduct of the Osun people who interact with themselves as one single family.

Professionalism
They both adjudged the process as peaceful, praised INEC for getting it right and applauded the security personnel for conducting themselves well and displaying high level of professionalism.

Senator Akinlabi-Rasheed particularly urged the volatile states to take a cue from the people of Osun, saying ”voting should never be seen as a do or die affair.”

The Lagos State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Tajudeen Balogun who was also deployed to maintain peace and security in the state equally commended the people for conducting themselves as one good family, expressing his wish that similar gesture is replicated across the states of the federation.

 

Mercy Chukwudiebere