Osun Decides: CDD Observers , KFM Correspondent Eye Witness Reports
There is massive turnout in the ongoing Osun State Governorship election as voters exercise their franchise in peaceful manner.
According to our correspondent Kayode Oyedare on ground in the state most of the polling units in Osun West senatorial district, witnessed large turn out of voters,who are conducting themselves in peaceful manner without rancour.
In Ede area, most of the polling units including Kuye ward 2, the voters are conducting themselves in peaceful manner with a lot of security on ground.
As at the time of filling this report, all the 48 governorship candidates contesting in the election have voted.
“From the reports I am receiving, every where is calm but the people don’t know who will win as at now because there are strong political parties in the state.
In an interview Senator Ademola Adeleke of PDP expressed satisfaction with the exercise so far. He also commended INEC and security agencies.
Voting has ended in Akoda area of Ede south local govt area as at 3pm,while in Sekona voters are still on line to cast their votes.
Voting has ended st some centers and counting about to commence. At the oduduwa estate polling center Ife central local government voters are patiently waiting for counting of votes. .
Most of voters in an interview commended the peaceful conduct of the poll and expressed their readiness to accept the outcome of the election.
Meanwhile ,the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD-PTCIJ observer reports indicate that election materials arrived in PUs on time in most PUs; the accreditation and voting process commenced with minimal hitches to the voting process.
Although some voters experienced slight challenges while passing through the card reader accreditation process, CDD-PTCIJ observers reported that the card reader issues were not widespread enough, as to affect the ability of citizens to exercise their franchise. The voter turnout is impressive compared to previous off-cycle elections. We are hopeful it may be at par with the 53 per cent turnout recorded in the last 2014 governorship election of the state.
CDD-PTCIJ observer reports indicate that on the average, accreditation and voting processes commenced at 8:19 am across 122 polling units observed across the 30 LGAs. Our Observers reported that the voting process went on smoothly without significant hitches. In few instances, there were minor glitches with the smart card readers (SCR), but INEC technicians were on hand to fix them, an example is PU 04 located at Oja Oke Open Space, the voting session was momentarily halted to fix an issue with the card reader. On the whole, however, the voting process commenced promptly and mostly went on peacefully as citizens exercised their franchise.
INEC new policy reduces vote buying
The ban of the use of mobile phones and other recording devices in voting cubicles by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) largely thwarted blantant vote buying. In most of the polling units where we observed the ongoing election, voters willingly complied with the policy, and in a case where such attempt to violate the policy, law enforcement agents and INEC officials saw to its enforcement. The Nigerian Police force tweeted the arrest of two voter buys arrested with six hundred. Our observers also reported the arrest of a vote buyer identified as Sunday, was arrested at Polling Unit 03, Ward 06 of Ifedayo Local Government Area but he was arrested and later released by police officers in Osun State. In Ward 010, PU 004, Boripe LGA, our observer reported a voter snapping ballot paper after voting in the presence of security personnel. However, politicians deployed new tactics to perpetrate vote buying and selling during Osun Governorship election.
New Trend of Vote Buying Emerge
Despite the measures introduced by INEC to reduce vote buying in the ongoing elections, our observers still reported that politicians devised to buy votes. As against the usual money sharing at the polling units, our observers said that the agents of the political parties are now collating names for payment after the vote. This was reported in EDE North Local government Ward 11 polling unit 3, 4, 5 and 11, Ayedire Local government Ward 5, Polling Unit 005, Atapka Osogbo local government ward 005, polling unit 007. All the leading political parties in the elections are involved in this despicable acts of vote trading.
We commend INEC for the introduction of tactile ballots in the elections. However, there are instances of lack of availability of magnifying glasses and materials in some polling units. The priority voting introduced by the commission enables several elderly, pregnant women to vote quickly. However the assistance of the elderly raised concerns amongst party agents who alleged that the elderly are being manipulated to vote for other parties.
A minor fight was observed between an APC and PDP party agent at Ward 2, PU7 in Ejigbo shopping plaza. It was learnt that the misunderstanding was caused by a woman whose name appeared twice in the voters’ register. However, security operatives in the centre settled the misunderstanding and promised to sort out the issue.