EKITI, Nigeria – The Local government election conducted by the Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission, on Saturday, withessed low turnout of voters.
In Ado Ekiti metropolis, the commercial motorcyclists, popularly called Okada riders, were seen plying major roads, while traders opened their shops to make money despite the restriction order announced by the police between 8am and 2pm.
But the election, which was to elect the 16 local government chairmen and 177 councilors, was peaceful and devoid of violence.
To avert disruption of the election by party thugs, the police commissioner, Mr. Asuquo Amba, deployed his men to all the 2,195 polling units across the state.
The Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon Funminiyi Afuye, who voted at St Johns Primary School in Ikere Ekiti declared support for e-voting electoral system, saying he was ready to support any action that will improve the country’s electioneering.
Afuye described the local government election as peaceful and devoid of actions that could truncate free and fair outcome.
“Though the turnout was a little bit low, but it was peaceful. The reason could not have been unconnected with the impression by the Peoples Democratic Party that the All Progressives Congress will win all the seats, but Governor Kayode Fayemi believes in democracy and allows free and fair process.
“Unlike in the past when local government elections were like wars, this one is free and fair, we don’t believe in violence. If you have something to showcase, you have no reason to be violent. No incidence of intimidation. Both the PDP and APC are mobilising for this election”, he said.
The APC State Chairman, Mr Paul Omotoso, who voted Imesi Ekiti in Gbonyin local government commended the peaceful nature of the poll, praising Fayemi for setting a pace on how best to conduct a credible poll.
Also, the Information Commissioner, Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua, who voted at Community Pilot School, polling unit 006, Oke Osun ward in Ikere, praised the SIEC for the smooth conduct of the election.
While voting at Ward 2, unit 008, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Development Partnership, Mrs Margaret Fagboyo, hinged the low turnout as a confirmation that the PDP has been weakened in the state.
She said: “The Low turnout was a clear testimony that the opposition is very weak and about the impression that the ruling party will win. Governor Fayemi wants democracy to prevail and on that we stand”.