Mixed reactions trail voters’ turnout in Oyo as BVAS breakdown in some councils
There were mixed reactions among critical stakeholders in Oyo State, over the redesigned Naira notes and Central Bank policies, which allegedly caused the low turnout of voters for the presidential and National Assembly elections.
While some stakeholders expressed disappointment over the low turnout, alleging that it was caused by the paucity of money, others said the turnout was impressive and that it would be too early to claim that the turnout was low, until the number of registered voters were compared with accredited voters.
There were also complaints about malfunctioning of the BVAS in some local government areas in the early hours of the day, but these challenges were quickly brought under control with the repairs of some of the affected BVAS.
In Ibadan North Local Council, some voters lamented that their names were not found on the INEC voters register and majority of them were denied the opportunity to vote.
The Southwest leader of New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP), Alhaji Bisi Olopoeyan, complained that over 2000 agents of his party were not issued INEC tags and were denied to monitor the process.
Although Olopoeyan said the complaints were laid before the INEC office in Ibadan, nothing was done to rectify the issue as at when voting was ongoing yesterday.
Meanwhile, there was no record of violence or security breaches across Oyo State during the exercise yesterday.
While casting his vote at Polling Unit, Ward 5 in Ona-Ara, governorship candidate of Oyo APC, Teslim Folarin, commended INEC for having improved the nation’s electoral process.
Folarin also hailed the security agencies for maintaining peace and order so far. He urged voters to remain peaceful throughout the exercise.
Folarin also commended the electorate for having the determination to troop out to vote, despite the paucity of cash and other challenges in recent times. He particularly appreciated those who had to walk some distance to exercise their civil rights
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Oyo South Central District, Chief Joseph Tegbe, also lauded the peaceful conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly elections in Ibadan and its environs.
Tegbe gave the commendation while speaking with newsmen shortly after casting his vote at Lanioka Ward 5, Unit 7, in Ibadan South East Local Council Area.
He commended the electorate for turning out in large number to exercise their franchise and INEC for making the materials available on time.
This, he said, was a sign that the exercise would be free and fair.
“I had no hitches with the BVAS. INEC has done so well so far. For those who are yet to vote, I want to encourage them to go out and perform their civic responsibilities,” Tegbe said.
He appealed to INEC to build on its preparations for this election in order to record more successes in the March 11 Governorship and House of Assembly polls in the state.
Olopoeyan, who voted in Ibadan North East, said the exercise was peaceful, but added that the low turnout was unimpressive.
A former Commissioner of Finance, in Oyo, Bimbo Adekanbi, said: “From what I saw, the turnout was impressive and it would be too early to say otherwise until we compare the numbers of registered voters with the number of accredited voters and those that voted.”
The APC stalwart also commended the security agents for job well done during the process.
In a similar vein, Oyo South Senatorial District candidate of Accord Party, Kola Daisi, said the process was good, just as he said it was peaceful. “The turn out was impressive and I am very confidence that the change people anticipated would be realised after the exercise. The security was calm and there was no report of any violence or stuffing of ballot boxes anywhere. We can still improve on the process in future.”
Prince Akeem Adeyemi, member of House of Representatives, Oyo Alaafin Atiba Local Council at the polling boot in the palace, said outside the little hiccup the BVAS generated at the palace, immediately the problem was resolved the process went well. I cast my vote at 11:10a.m.I saw people troop out, security personnel were on ground and the election went peacefully. By and large Nigerians would realise that their votes count.