There was a massive turnout of voters in Osun State as the accreditation and voting process got underway in the governorship election.
LEADERSHIP correspondents who monitored the election across the three senatorial districts of the state report that many voters had arrived their polling units as early as 7.00 a.m. to wait for election officials.
Across many polling units in Osogbo , the state capital, there was an impressive turnout of enthusiastic voters who queued on a straight line, determined to exercise their civic responsibilities.
Accreditation of voters in the commenced at 8 a.m. in virtually all the polling units across the state following the arrival of electoral officials and materials as early as 7: 30 a.m.
At ward Union Baptist School – 006 area of Osogbo , the Presiding officer that though they collected all the election materials as early as 6.00 am, the process could not start due to stipulated time that was given to us by the INEC.
As at 7.30 am, the names of eligible voters at Ataoja ‘D’ Ward 004,Unit 005, were pasted for viewing and confirmation before proceeding for accreditation and voting .
Also, at Baruwa Ward 4, Unit 19 and 20 , Ward 10 polling unit 13, Fagbesa in Osogbo local government area, ward 8 unit 3 Olorunda local government and Ward 7, Eripa Boluwaduro Local government and ward 4, unit 10, Olobu road , Irepodun local government, the officials of INEC and election materials arrived well ahead of time.
One of the officers of INEC ,Mrs Alawode Abidemi, who spoke with LEADERSHIP at polling unit 1, ward 3, Ifon, Oloru Local Government, said they arrived the polling centres with the election materials at about 6:30 a.m.
She said that the accreditation of the first voter at the polling units began exactly at 8 a.m., saying that the card reading machines were working perfectly.
It was observed that the turnout of voters was also impressive in most polling centres visited across the state while security personnel, including the police and personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC), were deployed in strategic locations.
At polling units on Ifon Road, eligible voters were accredited by the use of the card reader while the process was smooth due to the presence of security personnel.
Herold Mercy, an Assistant Presiding Officer in the area, told LEADERSHIP that the exercise was peaceful, as adequate materials had been made available for the election.
At Boluwaduro and Boripe Local Government Area, the materials and officials also arrived polling centres as early as 7 a.m.
Electoral officials were also at their duty post ahead of the commencement of the accreditation stipulated by law.
Meanwhile, enthusiastic voters, mostly elderly people, thronged the various polling centres in Orolu ward to perform their constitution responsibility .
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Senator Ademola Adeleke who voted at Abogunde Ward 2 , Ede South local government at 8:05am expressed his satisfaction with the electoral process so far .
According to him, if the process is maintained, he is optimistic that he would win the election adding that the goodwill the people of Osun have for his brother, late Senator Isiaka Adeleke would assist his electoral victory.
Also, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the election so far.
Oyetola who arrived his polling Unit 2, Ward 1, LA Primary School Popo, Iragbiji, Boripe Local Government Area of Osun State, in company of his wife and daughter, said the reports he was getting from APC party agents across the state indicated that the process was smooth, free and fair.
The APC candidate said, “To God be the glory, the process of the election is peaceful and INEC has done very well so far. My expectation is that we have a peaceful, free and fair election all through.
“People have come out en masse to cast their votes and I have just performed my own civic responsibility as the candidate of APC. I have a lot of confidence in the process because there had been no report of any serious issues from all APC party agents across the state.”
He said , “I have worked so hard and my predecessor has laid a good foundation by touching all areas of human endeavor be it Education, Health, Agriculture and road construction. ”
“I am going to build on these achievement. There will be continuity of all the good work that Governor Aregbesola has done. OYES program, o’meal,School feeding and other programs of the present administration will continue.’
Senator Iyiola Omisore, SDP governorship candidate observed his civic right at around 11:25 am at Moore Ward 1, Polling unit 003, inside Yemoo, National Museum extension, Moore, Ile-Ife.
Omisore, who lamented about the situation of things, alleged there were insufficient electoral materials in some polling centers in Osogbo, while there are malfunctioning of card readers in some voting centres in Ife.
He said that in Osogbo, some polling unit were not supplied with voting materials.
Omisore charged the electorates that despite the irregularities of INEC, they should come out en-mass to exercise their civic right.
Moreover, he disabused from the mind of the electorates collecting money for votes, said electorates has their future to protect, once they collected money for their civic right, they would not have right to challenge their discrepancy when they were elected.
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