By Jimoh Ahmed, Sade Adewale, Kayode Olabanji & Kayode Afolabi
Low turnout marred the Ondo State House of Assembly election across the state on Saturday.
As at 11am on Saturday, polling units visited by The Hope were scanty and Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, officials stayed idle at polling units.
In Ward 1, Unit 16, 17 and 28 in Okitipupa, low turnout of voters was recorded.
Also in Okitipupa, commercial activities are ongoing as motorists and motorcyclists were seen plying the metropolis.
It was observed that security personnel of the Nigeria Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were on ground to ensure orderliness at polling units in Okitipupa.
Also in Ore, INEC officials arrived their respective polling units with election materials for the conduct of the Assembly poll.
Security agents were mounted at the polling unit to ensure peaceful conduct of the election as at the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, accreditation and voting have commenced in all polling units visited and the voting process has been peaceful.
As at the time of filing this report, the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) is working perfectly and the election is hitch-free at the polling units visited.
In Owo, despite the naira scarcity stuffing life out of many Nigerians, the people of the Ondo North Senatorial District came out to vote for candidates of their choice in the House of Assembly election.
The people forgot the hardship they’re facing to participate in the national assignment.
However, the turnout was low as compared with the February 25 Presidential and National House of Assembly elections.
Meanwhile, election materials got to the polling units in most of the places visited in Owo, as INEC adhoc officers were also seen at their duty posts as early as 7.30 am.
In most places, voters accreditation and voting commenced as early as 8.00 am, while people conducted themselves in orderly and peaceful manner.
The BVAS machines were also working perfectly without any hitch.
Speaking with our reporter, an electorate, Mrs Funmilayo Ogunleye, who was extremely happy about the peaceful atmosphere during the early hours of the exercise, prayed it will last the entire process.
Mrs Ogunleye who said herself and most other electorates who were initially apprehensive of a possible breakout of chaos were encouraged to come out to vote after they found out that peace reigned supreme.
Security agents were also seen patrolling the streets of major towns in the district during the voting process to forestall any possible breakdown of law and order.
In Ondo city, due to threats among political parties, the House of Assembly recorded low turnout of voters in some parts of the city contrary to the February 25 Presidential election.
However, the Independent National Electoral Commission staff and materials arrived polling units on time.
The Hope gathered from INEC officials that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System also functioned properly and electoral officials were able to easily capture voters with the machines.
Speaking with The Hope at Babalola Mega primary school, ward 7, Units 1-7, voters and party agents expressed dissatisfaction with the reasons for the low turnout.
Particularly, Mr Ojo Moradeyo said voters refused to come and vote because of threats from different people in the city.
He said “people don’t want to die, that is why they did not come out to vote. This situation is not a good one, people have the right to vote for the candidate of their choice, not the other way around.
Also speaking, Mr Idowu Aladeyori described the low turnout as pathetic, saying today’s turnout is much worse than what was obtainable in the Presidential election.
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