Osun poll witnesses high turnout amid tight security
There was high turnout on Saturday as residents of Osun headed to their polling units to vote in the governorship election.
Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) covering the election report a high turnout at many of the polling units visited across the three senatorial districts of the state.
A heavy security cordon was also thrown on the state with the massive deployment of policemen as well as other security agencies while soldiers were sighted on the outskirts of the state capital.
NAN reports that there are 3,010 Polling Units and 755 Polling Points spread across the three senatorial districts and 30 local governments areas of the state.
Although INEC registered a total of 1,682,495 voters, some 400,000 Permanent Voters Cards remained uncollected at at Friday.
NAN also reports that although 48 parties are participating in the election, the frontline candidates are Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress(APC), Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party and Iyiola Omisore of the Social Democratic (SDP).
NAN also reports that accreditation and voting commenced about 8 am simultaneously across many polling units
In Osogbo, the state capital, many of the residents had trooped to their polling units as early as 6.am.
NAN reports that at Osunbukola Ward 10 Unit 003 Polling Unit in Egbedore, more than 300 voters were sighted on the queue while accreditation and voting commenced about 8.10am.
There were also some policemen and NSCDC personnel at the polling unit.
The Accreditation Officer at the unit, Mashood Samson, told NAN that the exercise has been hitch-free with the card readers working perfectly.
An official of the Transition Monitoring Group, Dr Abiola Afolabi, told NAN the exercise in the units visited so far has been orderly.
At the Ward 5 Unit 1 Polling Unit in Osogbo Local Government, more than 300 voters were on the queue for accreditation and voting which started at 8.10.am.
An international observer from the National Democratic Institute who simply identified herself as Miss Courtney said the exercise so far had been transparent, an assessment corroborated by Busayo Soyebi of the Centre for Transparent Advocacy.
At the Osogbo Polling Unit 2 Ward 5 inside Osogbo Grammar School, no fewer than 200 voters were sighted waiting to be accredited.
NAN also reports that the exercise was orderly while five policemen and one NSCDC official were sighted keeping vigil.
In Iragbiji, the hometown of the APC candidate, Gboyega Oyetola, there was also a massive turnout.
At the polling units in LA primary School Popo, Ward 1, Oja Oba Town Hall, Ward 2, Osolo Hall, Ward 1 and Oke-Osun, Ward 1B, many of the voters arrived as early as 7:00 am to check their names on the voters’ list.
At exactly 8:24, accreditation and voting started at Polling Unit 2, LA Primary School Popo.
Some voters, however, complained that they could not find their names on the voters’ register.
The INEC Presiding Officer, Mr Lawal Adewale, said they had no challenges at the voting unit as materials arrived early.
He said those complaining they could not find their names on the voters’ register were not at the polling unit to vote
More than 200 voters were at the polling unit made up three voting points to cast their vote.
In Ede, the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Adeleke, voted at Ward 2 Unit 9 at Sagba-Abogunde at about 8:01 am after an initial hitch with the card reader.
” The card reader took a lot of processes before it started working and I hope it is not the same in other polling units,’’ he said.
The police spokesman, Acting DCP Jimoh Moshood, had said four unarmed policemen and two others from other security agencies would be on duty at each voting point throughout the state.
He also said the Police Mobile Force (PMF) headed by a very senior officer will provide security at the RAC, Super RAC and collation centres.
This is in addition to the deployment of two helicopters, 30 Armoured Personnel Carriers, 10 Armoured Personnel Vehicles and 300 Police patrol vehicles.
Moshood also disclosed that the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations would supervise the entire security arrangement.
He would be assisted by an Assistant Inspector General of Police and eight Commissioners of Police while eight Police Area Commands in the state would be manned by a Commissioner of Police.
The police also released the dedicated lines—08037025670, 08037160989, 08033415589 and 08032451594—for residents to report any infraction on the democratic process.
Officials of the FRSC were also on ground to enforce the 7.am-4.pm restriction on vehicular movement.
The FRSC had also deployed 15,000 personnel and vehicles to enforce the restriction on vehicular movement.