Low voter turnout mars Ekiti local govt polls

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Low voter turnout mars Ekiti local govt polls

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Low voter turnout mars Ekiti local govt polls by : 9:50 pm On December 4, 2021

From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti

Local Government elections conducted on Saturday in the 16 Local Government Areas and the 19 newly created Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in Ekiti State was marred by the low turnout of voters.

However, voters have described the election as violent-free across the 2,195 polling units in the state.

Some areas like Ado, Ikere, Otun, Igbara Odo, Aramoko, Efon and other places experienced some hitches in the morning causing a delay in the commencement of the voting process, but the elections later commenced in those areas with security agencies on guard to provide adequate security cover for the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC), Ad hoc staff and voters.

The restriction of human and vehicular movements between 8 am and 2 pm announced by the state government and the police was not effective as motorists, motorcyclists and residents were seen moving around Ado Ekiti city and other towns visited.

Traders were seen doing their businesses undisturbed at the popular Oja Oba, Oja Irona and Oja Enu Odi markets in Ado Ekiti, while some commercial motorcyclists were seen doing skeletal works across the capital city.

Some shops and filling stations in the capital city and other towns were also opened for business activities while the polls lasted.

The Secretary to the State Government, Hon Biodun Oyebanji, voted at Oke Lele ward 06 unit 003 in Ikogosi Ekiti, Ekiti West Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

Oyebanji praised the voters for coming out to exercise their franchise rights and for their peaceful dispositions.

“Local government election is very critical to the survival of any democracy because it is the closest to the people. I commend my people for taking interest in this election and I want the electoral officers to do what is right and allow the votes of the electorate to count.”

Speaking while monitoring the polls, the Chairman, House of Assembly Committee on the State Independent Electoral Commission(SIEC), Hon Toyin Lucas, said the low turnout of voters doesn’t vitiate the outcome as long as the process remained peaceful and credible.

He also ascribed the free movements of humans and vehicles to the ongoing November National Examinations Council(NECO) being undertaken by some candidates, saying such people can’t be restricted, since it is being held across the nation.

\”We have low turnout in the morning and you could all see that the process is improving People are coming out gradually to vote. The process has been peaceful without any rancour or crisis despite that six political parties are contesting these elections. The party agents are on the ground without molestation.

“The people that are moving around are those with genuine reasons. Some students are writing NECO examinations and those on essential duties as well as those who are going to far distances to cast their votes are allowed to move freely despite the restriction”.

Lucas added that the elections are of utmost importance to the people because the local governments are the closest to the grassroots coupled with the enthusiasm that accompanied the creation of new Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) by the APC-led government.

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