Politics

Ekiti 2022: APC supporters sad despite winning polling unit

Hundreds of voters have kicked against some anomalies in the ongoing governorship election in Ekiti State, lamenting that there was no stamp to certify the ballot papers as authentic based on the electoral regulations.

Supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Unit 7, Ward one Ado local government have expressed sadness over the result the party recorded.

The party had polled 221 votes, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) got 53 votes while the Social Democratic Party (SDP) had 66 votes.

Members of the APC did not celebrate when the results were announced as they were long faces.

Those who spoke said the results was below their target.

They said they had hoped to garner 260 votes and above.

However, there were huge turnout of voters in Ikere local government. In Unit 12, Ward 4, Ikere only seven persons voted at the poll.

It was gathered that 15 persons registered as voters in the polling unit.

Officials of INEC sat for long hours without attending to any voter but they said they had to wait for 2:30pm before the votes would be counted.

“This is a new polling unit. That is why we have this low turn out. We will wait till the 2:30pm time to end voting.”

At Unit 9, Ward 10, operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) who were on patrol were accused of snatching huge money from party officials in the area.

The money was said to being used to buy votes in Ikere local government area.

The action of the security operative disrupted voting at the unit for over 30 minutes as voters stopped voting because they were not sure of being ‘paid.’

Many voters who had hoped to collect money were said to have been disappointed with the action of the security agents.

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Some political party agents present at the polling unit said officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps were on routine patrol whe they stormed the polling unit.

The party agents, did not, however state which political party owns the money that was snatched.

They said the NSCDC officials took a short cut within the community and spend off.

When asked if they could identify the officers, one party agent said, “Even if I see the person, do you expect me to say this is the person? I know they will not admit that they collected money from this place. They will not even take it to their office.”

Speaker of the Ekiti State House if Assembly, Hon Funminiyi Afuye, who was seen at the polling unit, said the money supposedly snatched does not belong to the All Progressives Congress.

Hon Afuye said he had voted at his polling unit and had to monitor the election around his vicinity.

His words: “I have voted in my unit and I decided to just go about. But there is no violent anywhere. The people have been conducting themselves well.

“I wasn’t here when money was snatched . I am not aware of any money snatched. If they are snatching money, they are not snatching from my party.

“There is no violence that has been reported to me.”

Explaining why was he present at the polling unit other than where he voted, Hon Afuye said “By virtue of my position as the Chief Lawmaker in the State and I do not interfere with the process, I can observe election.

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“Do you want me to go about without my security agents. Are they harassing people. They are on their duty. The only time I went towards the polling units was when I wanted to confirm the number of machines there.”

Spokesman for the Ekiti NSCDC, Afolabi Tolulope, said he was not aware of such incident.

He said he was not yet at the office to know if any NSCDC officials on patrol made report about money at voting centres.

A former Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Prof Olusola Eleka, who voted at Unit 7, Ward 2 Okeruku, Ikere Ekiti said his people would wait till the votes are counted

Prof. Eleka described the governorship election as fair, transparent and orderly even as he praised the electorate for conducting themselves in an orderly manner.

“I have done my part, I’ve voted for my party, water the outcome is the wish of the people.

“I think there was a place where they complained of rubber stamp and the people insisted that stamp must be provided before they will continue with the process.

“In my ward alone, we have seven security personnel, apart from the other security personnel that are patrolling. I think that that is a wise and good arrangement.

“The process itself is quite fair and I think it will make the process count. Usually, you will expect the people to wait behind to defend their votes. Even if you don’t tell them to wait, they will want to wait so that the votes are counted correctly.”

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