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Ekiti State voters elect Governor today; Mass turnout of voters, heavy security presence greet polls

By Emmanuel Oloniruha, Abuja/Idowu Ariwodola/Idowu Gabriel, Ado-EkitiJune 18, 2022

The 988,923 registered voters in Ekiti State across 16 local government areas are going to the poll to elect the governor and the deputy governor of the state today, Saturday, June 18, 2022.

Already, an unprecedented number of enthusiastic voters on Saturday thronged various polling units in different towns, villages and hamlets in Ekiti to perform their civic rights in the ongoing election.

Also, there were combined security personnel on the ground to protect the lives and property in different parts of the state and as well their presence was noticed both far and near the polling centres.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the election is holding in 2,445 Polling Units (PUs) in 177 Registration Areas, in three Senatorial Districts, six Federal Constituencies and 26 State Constituencies across the states.

A total number of 16 candidates and parties are contesting the governorship election.

As of June 13, a total of 749,065 Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) had been collected by registered voters in the State.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says voting shall be by continuous accreditation and voting system.

The accreditation process shall comprise authentication and verification of voters, using the 3,346 Bimodal Accreditation System (BVAS) deployed by INEC.

The accreditation and voting commenced at 8:30 a.m. and will close at 2:30 p.m. provided that any voter already in the queue shall be allowed to vote.

After election and completion of results management procedure at the polling unit, the Presiding Officers are expected to transmit a clear image of the result sheet (form EC8A) for the purpose of collation.

The result will thereafter be transmitted to the INEC Result Viewing portal (IREV).

It would also be delivered by hand the hard copy of the form EC8A and the BVAS to the Registration Area (RA) collation officer to ensure that the number of accredited voters contained in the machine is the same thing in the form EC8A.

The candidates are Abiodun Oyebanji of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Olabisi Kolapo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Olusegun Oni of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Others are Reuben Famuyibo of Accord (A), Ajagunigbale Olajide of African Action Congress (AAC), Oluwole Oluyede of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Elebute-Halle Kemi of Action Democratic Party (ADP) and Benjamin Obidoyin of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

Also contesting are Fagbemi Adegbenro of Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Christiana Olatawura of All People’s Party (APP), Daramola Olugbenga Onile of Labour Party (LP), Fatomilola Oladosu of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and Iyaniwura Ifedayo of the National Rescue Movement (NRM).

Also in the race are Agboola Ben of the Peoples Redemption Party, Adebowale Oluranti Ajayi of Young Progressives Party (YPP) and Adeolu Akinyemi of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).

INEC had assured Nigerians that people of Ekiti would determine their next governor, while security agencies also pledged to secure peaceful environment for the poll.

At the Ekiti office of the INEC, there was heavy presence of security agents to forestall any eventuality.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), while on monitoring of the polling units, reports that security agents arrived many polling units as early as 7.20 a.m.

Aside the police, other security agencies and outfits providing security, include Civil Defence Corps, National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and men of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).

At some of the border towns linking Ekiti with other states, military men were strategically stationed with officers and men, keeping vigil and conducting search on vehicle owners and occupants.

The restriction placed on human and vehicular movement during election was strictly obeyed by residents and travellers alike, as most inter-township roads were empty.

This development compelled many voters to trek long distances to their polling units, as there were no taxi or commercial motorcycle operators to convey them.

Besides, all markets, shops and eateries were under lock and key.

Some of the places visited included Ado-Ekiti, Ikere-Ekiti, Efon-Alaaye, in Efon Local Government area Ifaki-Ekiti, the home town of Mr. Segun Oni, the Governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Other areas were Ise-Ekiti, the home town of former Minister of State for Works, Dayo Adeyeye, Emure-Ekiti, Ido-Ekiti and Omuo-Ekiti, hometown of Sen. Biodun Olujimi of the PDP and Rep. Femi Bamisile of the APC.

In many of the places visited, scores of voters were seen already on queues, waiting for the attention of the electoral officers.

Those sighted among the crowd of the enthusiastic voters, include students and artisans of between 18 and 20 years bracket, old people and a handful of expectant mothers.

It was observed that in most of the places, officials including ad hoc staff, deployed by INEC arrived only few minutes after 8.00 a.m.

According to statistics at the disposal of NAN, over 17,000 policemen were deployed for the election, with NSCDC deploying 9,747, while the army and others also deployed appreciable figures.

 

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