Olufemi Atoyebi and Olaleye Aluko
There was low turnout of voters in Oyo State on Saturday, as polling units that recorded huge voters in the March 28 elections witnessed few voters; just as the Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory, Jumoke Akinjide, was absent from her polling unit in Amosun, Ona Ara Local Government Area, Ward 1 Unit 2.
Apart from Oluyole where Governor Abiola Ajimobi voted and a few other areas, there were not many voters in most wards and polling units in other parts of Ibadan and the state in general.
At ward 10 Unit 6, Oke-Ado area of Ibadan, there were 414 registered voters, but only 209 voters came out to vote.
Assistant presiding officer at the unit, Ms. Nike Balogun, said the turnout was not impressive, compared to what was experienced in the March 28 elections.
“Voters did not come out early, but they began coming out in small numbers towards the afternoon. As at 12.30pm, we have only accredited 209 voters,” she said.
At Ajikobi compound in Alekuso area of the city, Ward 1 Unit 3 had 505 registered voters, with 310 voters recorded to have obtained their PVCs. When voting began, only 133 accredited voters formed the queue.
Although many people trooped out in Foko, Born Photo and Oritamerin areas of the city, electoral officers said only a few were accredited for the election.
In Ibadan South West and Egbeda local government areas in Ward 10, Unit 11, 299 persons came for the poll, as against over 400 who came in the March 28 polls.
Social Democratic Party governorship candidate in the state, Seyi Makinde, said it was a surprise that people came out to vote in the presidential election but stayed away from the Saturday election.
He said, “The turnout was lower than the presidential election. This is strange because these elections concerned the people of the state more than the March 28 elections. At the national level, only two parties were prominent, but in the governorship election, more parties are involved. One would have expected more voters to get involved.”
Reacting to the turnout, Governor Abiola Ajimobi said he was impressed with voters’ attitude in Oluyole area, but added that more people got involved in the presidential election because they were desperate for a change at the centre.
While the elections were adjudged calm and violence-free in Ibadan, Oyo State, a lower turnout of voters was observed for the governorship and House of Assembly elections, as against the March 28 polls.
Ms Akinjide, who had come in company with her father, Chief Richard Akinjide, in the March 28 polls, failed to show up at her unit for accreditation till 1pm when voting commenced, and our correspondent left.
A source said the FCT minister, who was also President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign coordinator for Oyo State, avoided the exercise because she needed some rest.
One of the areas delayed by card reader malfunctioning was Ward 5, Unit 2 in the Ona Ara LGA. This was also the unit of the Peoples Democratic Party aspirant in the state, Senator Teslim Folarin.
As of 10.30am, the people, who numbered over 200, were seen lamenting the delay in accreditation.
Folarin, who later came to the venue with his wife to be accredited, said INEC had done well, except for the malfunctioning of the card readers.
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