Ondo poll: Akeredolu leads, Mimiko, others kick

Ondo poll: Akeredolu leads, Mimiko, others kick
November 27 12:00 2016

The Independent National Electoral Commission has announced the results of some local governnent areas in the gubernatorial election held on Saturday in Ondo state.

According to the results so far announced, Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress was in an early lead while Eyitayo Jegede of the Peooles Demicratic Party and Olusola Oke of the Alliance for Democracy trailed.

The LGA results announced included those of Ile Oluji/Oke Igbo, Akoko North-East, Ifedore and Irele, where Akeredolu won while Jegede won in Ondo-East LGA.

Oke closely trailed Jegede in the five LGAs.

While observers said the poll was largely peaceful, there were allegations of vote buying levelled against all the major parties.

There was also a huge turnout in the three senatorial districts of the state.

It was gathered that about  N450,000 was budgeted for each polling unit by the major political parties with each voter getting between N3,000 and N5,000.

Elder statesman, Chief Olu Falae, condemned the act and blamed INEC officials for alleged complicity.

“I have heard of people bribing voters in Akure here. I have heard they are offering N3,000 per vote. It is very worrisome. This is a way of comprising the will of the people.

“It is for the government of the day to make a decision to stop this trend. There were many police officers in those polling units, what were they doing? They could arrest them but they didn’t do that. Without the collusion of the electoral officers and the security agents, that (inducement of voters) can’t succeed,” Falae said.

Akeredolu also expressed worry over the issue of card readers which were not efficient.

Akeredolu said, “There are a few hitches here and there which have to do with the failure of the card readers at some polling units. I expect INEC to have properly overhauled the card readers because we are having only one election at a time.”

Jegede  alleged that INEC conspired to rig the election by disenfranchising voters in PDP strongholds by deliberately using malfunctioning card readers.

Ondo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Segun Agbaje, however, said the machines were working at every polling booth. He said those who made the allegations were trying to cause confusion.

He said, “There is no booth where election didn’t take place because of the card reader; it only delayed the process a little bit. In the 3,009 polling units, the units I was told that they had problems with card readers were not up to seven. Politicians are just making noise to cause unnecessary confusion. There is no place in the entire state where election did not hold because of the card reader, it was only delayed.”

On the issue of inadequate security at polling units, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ondo State Command, Mr. Femi Joseph, said there were five policemen manning each polling units, but added that some of them were not in police uniform.

“Our men were at every polling unit; it is only that people saw the ones in uniform. There were some officers who were in mufti, and we did that deliberately. Five policemen were posted to each polling unit although not every five policemen deployed wore uniforms,” Joseph explained.

Outgoing governor,  Olusegun Mimiko also accused the INEC of colluding with the APC to rig the election.

Though the card reader rejected Mimiko’s fingerprint, he was allowed to vote at Unit 20 Ward 07 in the Ondo WestLocal Government Area of the state around 11.30am.

This was after he filled the incident form given to him by INEC officials at the polling unit.

“What is happening in Ondo State presently is anarchy. The INEC and APC are trying to rig the poll with the use of malfunctioning card readers and inducement of voters.

“The result I am getting all round the state shows that INEC is not for a free and fair election. Imagine with different calls we made to postpone this election, they refused and went ahead. Now that our people have made up their mind to vote for us, they decided to rig with the use of malfunctioning card readers and giving money to people in order to get votes.

“This time around, we shall resist them. We will stand firm and defend our votes. I enjoin all our people to be vigilant and defend their votes especially at the collation centres. We were told that they have fake result sheets. So, if the result at the polling units do not tally with the one at collation centres, we will resist it,” he said.