By Muftau Ojo
Tension gripped residents on Saturday as the voting and accreditation process commenced in the Ondo governorship election.
The tension was caused by the spate of violence that heralded the process, especially the violent clash in Owo on Thursday.
All Progressives Congress (APC) lost a chieftain, Mr. Afolabi Olaposi, in the violence.
Accreditation and voting process commenced in some parts of the state at 8 am , with a few voters at some polling units, fuelling fears of insecurity and voters’ apathy.
Olaposi was killed by unknown gunmen on Thursday night in Owo.
The party said in a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Abayomi Adesanya, on Friday in Akure that Olaposi was shot dead on his way home after attending a meeting of the party in preparation for the governorship election.
“The assailant also went to the house of Chief Jamiu Ekungba, an APC aspirant in the Sept. 3 Primary, and vandalised seven vehicles in his compound.
“Ekungba was not to at home during the attack,’’ the party had said in the statement.
No fewer than 1,280,580 voters with Permanent Voter Cards would decide who the governor would be out of the 28 contestants in Saturday’s governorship election.
Although 1,659,186 voters were registered for the election, 378,606 did not turn up to collect their PVCs.
Among the major contestants are Mr Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu of the APC, Dr Olu Agunloye of the Social Democratic Party and Olusola Oke of the Alliance for Democracy.
Others include the candidate of the Accord Party, Mr Oladare Amuda, Mr Yinka Orokoto of the Action Alliance, the candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria and Chief Adetuwo Ogunjumelo.
Also in the race are the candidate of the Citizens Popular Party, Mr Peter Fasua, the candidate of the Labour Party, Adeuti Stephen and the candidate of the Peoples Party of Nigeria, Mrs Temidola Olagbegi.
The police, however, said 26,000 personnel, three helicopters, 12 Armoured Personnel Carriers and 20 gunboats had been deployed.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, also said five officers would be at each polling unit during the election while three helicopters would be patrolling each of the senatorial district.
Idris added that three commissioners of police would be in the state for special operations during the election.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps also said 15, 000 personnel and 25 sniffer dogs would be deployed for the poll.(NAN)