News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

Heavy security in Ogun state LG poll

Voting in Ogun state underway

Elections in Ogun state  into the 20 local government councils and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) got underway on Saturday.

There was heavy security presence.

In the bid to ensure a peaceful electoral process, security officials were posted at strategic locations in Abeokuta South, Ijebu-Ode, Ado- Odo/Otta and Sagamu council areas.

A total of 5,000 policemen, 5,500 uniformed men and 1,000 intelligence officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were deployed for the election.

Officials of the state-owned traffic management agency and FRSC mounted road blocks on major highways to enforce the restriction order on movement.

Three security officials, made up of two policemen and one NSCDC official, were stationed at each polling unit to maintain law and order.

The electoral process so far had generally been peaceful across the various polling units as accreditation and voting, which commenced at 8.a.m., were being carried out simultaneously.

There was, however, a low turn in some parts of Ijebu-Ode.

A NAN correspondent, who went round Ijebu-Ode, during the election, reports that inspite of the heavy security presence, most people decided to stay back  home.

Some respondents, who spoke to NAN, cited indifference toward the choice of candidates contesting in the poll as the reason  for the low turnout.

However, those who turned out  gave kudos to OGSIEC for a well conducted electoral exercise without incidence of violence.

NAN reports that the Ogun Deputy Governor, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga, who is an indigene of Ijebu-Ode, was also on ground to vote and monitor the poll  across the town.

Most of the wards and polling units visited started the accreditation and voting exercise between 8.00am and 9.00am while those who started at a later time cited logistics reasons for the delay.

NAN observed that in most polling units visited, an average of between 45 and 100 accredited voters had cast their votes as at 1.00 p.m.

The voting exercise officially began at 8.00am and ended at 3.00pm, with all results to be collated by the Returning Officers at the OGSIEC Collation Centre in Ijebu-Ode Local Government.

The Presiding Officer, Italapo Polling Unit 10 in Ward 6, Ijebu-Ode Local Government, Mrs Olabisi Bello, told NAN that voting had gone according to schedule with voters cooperating.

She said the turn out had been fair and that the exercise was carried out without any case of violence or disruption.

Also, at the Ward 9, Odo-Egbo Polling Unit 1 in Ijebu-Ode Local Government, the Presiding Officer, Adetutu Osunsanya, also said the electoral commission provided adequate logistics to begin the exercise according to schedule.

She, however, complained of a low turn out of voters, saying not more than 50 persons had voted at the unit as at 11.00 a.m.

At the Ijebu-Ode South LCDA, Ward 5, Imepe Polling Unit 4, Mr Peter Olanlokun, the Presiding Officer, said the turn out was fair, with about 100 voters as at 12.00p.m.

He also said the exercise was hitch-free and well coordinated.

In Ward 6, Omoluwabi Polling Unit 5 in Ijebu-Ode South LCDA, Mr Moses Adebamigbe, the presiding officer said the turn out was not good enough.

Mr Segun Adebanjo, who cast his vote in Ward 1, Polling Unit 2, told NAN that he was satisfied with the conduct of the poll and was happy no incident of violence or ballot snatching was recorded.

Mr Tola Banjo, former Ogun State House of Assembly Deputy Speaker, who cast his vote at Ward 9, Polling Unit 9, also gave credence to a successful election by OGSIEC.

“No situation is perfect but with what we have seen, there has been calm and the turn out has been improving as the exercise went on.

“The system where people can do accreditation and vote simultaneously has facilitated the speed of the exercise as people can vote and go home immediately.

“That is why we are not having cluster of people around. Contrary to opinion, generally for me, the turnout has been impressive,” Banjo said.