Written by Bola Olajuwon, Assistant Editor and Ernest Nwokolo,
EARLY results emerging from the presidential and national assembly elections conducted in Ogun State yesterday showed that the All Progressives Congress(APC) candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari and other candidates of the party were leading, particularly Ogun Central and Ogun West.
They were closely being followed by the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Part y(PDP) and others on the tickets of PDP. Tagging from behind are candidates of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) where former governor Olusegun Osoba is the state party leader.
The Peoples Democratic Party lost Obasanjo’s ward 11 polling unit 22 at Oke – Sokori near his Ita – Eko home in Abeokuta North Local Government to the APC candidates.
But, open bribe of voters were prevalent in Ogun East as voters were reportedly bribed with money ranging from N2000 and above. Except for few reported cases of malfunctioning of the Card Reader, the presidential and national assembly elections were peaceful and recorded high turnout of voters in most parts of Ogun State.
Officials and ad hoc workers of the Independent National Electoral Commisssion (INEC) came out early and voters’ accreditations started on time.
In most of the polling units visited in Abeokuta South, Abeokuta North, Odeda, Obafemi Owode, Imeko Afon, Egbado South and Ipokia local government areas, voters waited patiently for accreditations despite slow functioning of the Card Readers in some places.
In most of the units visited, bags of “pure water” and soap were provided for voters to watch their hands to ease authentication of fingerprints. Those whose fingerprints could not be authenticated after several trials were given incident forms to fill in place of accreditation.
Though while the volume of those accredited in most polling units visited were low towards the end of accreditation, voting started early in others. But, despite long queues, voting started at most of the wards in Abeokuta South and others.
The State Commissioner of Police, Valentine Ntomchukwu, praised the conduct of voters and security operatives posted for the election. The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Chief Timothy Ibitoye, said: “There is peace everywhere as a result of adequate preparation by INEC.”
Soldiers were restricted to entry points of the state capital while men of police, immigratios, civil dence and customs manned polling areas.
But, Ogun State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate Prince Gboyega Nasir Isiaka yesterday expressed concern over alleged “shoddy preparation of the INEC for the elections.
Isiaka was particularly dissatisfied with the failure of the card readers in some polling units that forced the INEC staffs to employ manual accreditation.
He noted that he had initially raised his concerns about the effectiveness of the card readers which later proved him and other Nigerians right.
He, however, urged the INEC to perfect all the anomalies before the governorship election which is usually more contentious.
But state INEC had face serious challenge over supply and distribution of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs). Few hours to the presidential and national assembly elections, officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ogun State struggled till evening on Friday to distribute thousands of new consignment of PVCs received from the commission’s Abuja headquarters to the state’s voters.
The Nation learnt that the PVCs were received for nine local government areas on Wednesday. While the total figure could not be verified as at the time of going to the press, Abeokuta North Local Government Area had the highest PVCs with five cartoons and one packet, followed by Odeda with two cartoons and one packet. Egbado South had 11 packets; Egbado North got two packets, while Abeokuta South, Ewekoro, Ijebu North, Odogbolu and Ogun Waterside received one packet each.
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