Apathy mars Ondo council poll
• Deputy Governor Dissociates Self From Violence, PDP Calls For ODIEC’s Sack
There was low turnout of voters across the 18 local councils of Ondo State, yesterday, during the council poll conducted by the State Independent Electoral Commission (ODIEC).
Though the people complied with movement restriction imposed by the state government from 7am to 4pm, they refused to turn out massively to vote, as polling units and centres were nearly empty, save for the ODIEC ad-hoc staff and security operatives. This is aside electoral materials arrived some places late.
Nonetheless, the APC candidates and other opposition parties’ candidates like African Action Congress (AAC) across the 3009 voting units mobilised their supporters massively to vote.
The major opposition parties, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), amongst others, boycotted the election, passing a vote of no confidence on ODIEC.
There were also pockets of crises in some polling units: Ward 4, Unit 19 in Akure South and Ese-Odo, where ballot boxes were snatched and thugs disrupted the process. The Guardian gathered that some hoodlums attacked a bus conveying election materials for Apoi Ward in Ese-Odo Local Council.
It was alleged that the Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, who ditched the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to contest the governorship election under Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), sponsored the violence in Ese-Odo.
The Deputy Governor, however, dispelled the allegations against him as unfounded, saying ZLP was not participating in the election.
Similarly, the state PDP Publicity Secretary, Ikantu Peretei, said the election was a charade, justifying the party’s decision to boycott it.