Voting witnesses low turnout, early arrival of voting materials

Yinka Salaam, Osogbo

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Low turnout of voters, peaceful conduct of electorates and early arrival of voting materials characterised the Saturday’s House of Assembly election in the Osun state.

Voters trooped out as early as 7.30am to meet the ad hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission who arrived as early as 7.00am in most polling units.

They were also seen conducting themselves in an orderly manner but with reported cases of malfunctioned card readers in few cases.

Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Osun State, Mr Soji Adagunodo

In an assessment, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State, Mr Soji Adagunodo who spoke in his home town in Ilowa, Obokun Local Government attributed the voters’ apathy to lack of governorship election in the state.

Voice of Nigeria recalls that governorship election in Osun State had earlier been held in September 2018, leaving the state with only the election of members of House of Assembly.

Adagunodo commended the turnout as an improvement over the previous elections.

“Though the turnout of voters is very low, yet it is normal since there is no governorship election in the state. All the same, the turnout of voters is still very reasonable and appreciable.”

Adagunodo commended the electorates for their peaceful conduct but advised the government and INEC to speed up on the electronic voting system to minimise cost printing ballot papers, alleviate heavy logistic challenges and eradicate wastage of avoidable man-hour involved in manual voting system.

PDP Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr Diran Odeyemi

Also commenting on the poll, the PDP Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr Diran Odeyemi described the turnout of voters as, ‘not too impressive.’

Speaking at Unit 2, Ward 1 in Ibokun town, Odeyemi also attributed the low turnout of voters to separation governorship election in the state.

A lot of attention was on Ilesa, the town of the immediate past governor Rauf Aregbesola and a senior member of the state House of Assembly, Timothy Owoeye, who was also seeking a re-election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

Owoeye who will be returning to the legislature for the fourth time, if elected commended the turnout as appreciable.

Timothy Owoeye, member Osun state House of Assembly

“I am contesting election for the same post for the fifth time and I can tell you the turnout is a great improvement compared with the past experiences. While the turnout in this election could not be compared to the presidential poll, the impressive show of the electorates is an indication of their civic consciousness and the impact of government in their lives.”

In the same vein, the Senator elect for the Osun East Senatorial District, Mr Francis Fadahunsi also commended the process as peaceful but was not surprised at the low turnout of voters.

He explained that, unlike the executive arm, the impact of law making is not directly felt by the people and their popularity cannot in anyway be compared with that of the president or the governor.

Fadahunsi however called for more dividends of democracy and mass orientation of citizens from all stakeholders to ensure more political participation.

Most voters who spoke with Voice of Nigeria Correspondent applauded the INEC, the process and the peaceful conduct of the poll.

Omolayo.A