By HABEEBAT AJAYI
Voters’ apathy and late arrival of election materials yesterday marred Local government election held into 20 councils across Ogun State.
However, the poll was largely peaceful as there was no record of violence or security breach during the election.
It was observed that officers of the State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) arrived some of the polling units late, thereby delaying commencement of election in many areas.
In Abeokuta, the state capital, our correspondent who monitored the election, observed that there was late arrival of election materials amid low turnout of voters.
However, some parts of the Abeokuta metropolis and Odeda Local Government recorded impressive turnout.
When our correspondent visited
Oba ward 7 PU 1 at about 1pm, less than five voters were seen on the queue and a pip into the ballot boxes showed scanty thumb printed ballot papers.
The Chief of Staff to Ogun State Governor, Shuaib Salis attributed the initial delays due to logistics, but believed the turnout was encouraging and delightful.
In Iperu, the hometown of Governor Dapo Abiodun in Ikenne Local government area of the State, residents violated the restriction of movement order of the State government, as they went about their normal businesses.
There was unhindered vehicular movement and many shop owners opened for business and were seen attending to their customers.
At the Abeokuta-Sagamu expressway, a joint security team, comprising Military officers, police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Amotekun corps had a difficult time in enforcing the restriction of movement order of the government as passengers and motorists insisted on traveling into the State.
As at 10.30 am when our correspondent arrived the Ita-Osanyin, ward 3, unit 2 where the Governor later cast his vote, only 98 voters out of the 826 registered voters had voted.
In Ogun West Senatorial district, the situation was the same in Yewa North local government area of the State as residents preferred to engage in other activities instead of casting their votes.
In ward 2, Ayetoro area of the local government, voters were seen strolling into polling units in their few numbers to cast their vote.
Speaking with newsmen, an observer with the Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Dr. Abdullahi Muhammad Jabi attributed the low voters’ turnout to political apathy.
He said, “For the areas we have covered so far, it has been peaceful, but there seems to be apathy, you have a polling unit or a ward of almost 1,000 registered voters and as of the time we visited there, only about 10 voters had been accredited and voted, that is to say that the turn out is very, very low, but that does not foreclose that they may not come. As at the time we were capturing them, the turn out was very low.”