Apathy mars Assembly’s election

Apathy mars Assembly’s election-

By Bisi Olominu
The House of Assembly in Ondo State was marred with voters apathy on Saturday as the voters stayed indoor rather than trooping out in large number to vote for their representatives.

From Akure to Isarun, Ijare to Iju-Itaogbolu and other places visited by The Hope, there was low turn out of voters.

At Gbogi/Isinkan ward 1and 2, so also, at Sacred Heart Primary School ward 1 where voters came in two or three to vote. At Isolo Community Primary School, Isolo in Akure, there was low turn out, but there was improvement on the number of voters in Ijare and Isarun in Ifedore local government area of the state.

In some areas visited, instead of the youth of voting age voting, they turned the major roads to football pitches and they felt unconcerned about the election. Those of them that ventured to vote voted under the influence of inducement.

The assembly election was characterised by vote buying as many voters were ready to sell their conscience. The vote buying this time around was not done openly but secretly with the sellers monitoring the buyers.

Despite the apathy of votes, security was tight as military men manned the black spots to avert crisis, while policemen were on patrol of the major streets to provide security.

The deployment of sensitive materials by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was timely as the officials were at their units at 7 in the morning. Again there was surplus of materials this time around unlike the presidential and National Assembly election.

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The electorate came out early in the morning to cast their votes and there was no report of ballot snatching, thuggery and manipulation of election results in all the polling booth visited by The Hope newspaper.

However, the candidate of Social Democratic Party, SDP, in Akure Constituency 1, Ebenezer Adeniyan decried the vote buying during the election, lamenting that it would not allow democracy to grow in the country

According to him, the election was highly monetised as the electorate were induced with money to buy their conscience.

Speaking with The Hope, the National Vice Chairman of All Progressives Congress, Southwest, Mr. Bankole Aladejana said he was impressed by the turn out of voters in Ijare, positing that the election was without violence, intimidation and harassment.

His words:” There was improvement from the last presidential and National Assembly election. The turn out was impressive and people in the area cast their votes according to their choices”.

“The INEC officials improved on the last election as materials were at the polling units in time, the lapses of the last two weeks was corrected. I want to also commend our security officials to be up to the task as they never allow anybody to hijack ballot boxes or put the election under threat. There is no unpleasant news anywhere, but information t my disposal is that some people hijack ballot boxes in Igbara Oke, but everything has been put under control.

Aladejana said that the low turn out in the House of Assembly election can be adduced to low voters education in the country.

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” I must say that voters education is still very low, this INEC must improve upon. We have about seventy three parties on the ballot papers, knowing fully the many of the electorate are uneducated, this greatly affected the fortune of APC in the last election in the state.

“All in all, the election is free, fair and without crisis”.

Also speaking, a community leader in Ijare, General Joshua Omosebi (rtd) commended INEC for doing a good job but called on the electoral umpire to improve on voters education in the nearest election.

He also called on INEC to reduce the parties in the country, saying the large number of parties in the ballot paper are not doing the electorate any good but contributed to their apathy during this election.

Omosebi said that the turn out was not as impressive as that of the presidential and National Assembly election, but commended the voters for coming out to vote during the election.

In the words of the former Governorship Candidate of People’s Democratic Party, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, the election was marred by inducement of voters with money and the will of people of the state never allowed to prevail.

He said that in the presidential and National Assembly election, people stood their ground, but could not do same as they were captured with threat and induced with money.

” In the House of Assembly election, people’s were swayed with money, threat and they could not stand their ground like it was done two weeks ago.”

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Corroborating his claim, a chieftain of People’s Democratic Party and House of Representatives elect, Adedayo Omolafe said that last two weeks election was better as people voted for their choices without molestation and harassment.

He also disclosed that there was low turn out because of the threat by some to unleashed mayhem in the state on the electorate.

The Deputy State Chairman of National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Olalekan Awojobi described the election as the best to be conducted in the state.

He added that the election was better organised than the presidential and National Assembly election.

“It is the best election, nobody is molested, intimidated from voting and there’s improvement from INEC as the electoral materials arrive at the polling units in time”.

The Speaker, David Oloyelogun while speaking with The Hope commended the electoral body for improving on two Saturday’s election. He said that the election in Isarun was 100 percent and there was large turn out of voters.

The Speaker commended the security agents for maintaining law and order in the area, also lauding the electorate for trooping out to exercise their franchise.

The Commissioner for Health, Wahab Adegbenro said that there was no untoward issues in Ilara mokin and its environ during the election. He commended the security men and women for doing a yeomen job.

Apathy mars Assembly’s election

Osun election devoid of rancour – CP

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