Registered electorates in Osun State will today exercise their political rights to elect a new governor who will pilot the affairs of the state for the next four years.
The election is significant in many ways; it is the last major election before the 2019 general election, it’s preceding party politicking is one filled with drama and the election also serves as a litmus test for measures taken to curb vote buying.
Beyond this, the contention expected of an election where 48 candidates have emerged from different political parties is an intrigue to await.
The election is going to be a shift from a two horse race that is prevalent in many Nigerian elections. At least five major contenders are considered potential winners in the election.
They are; Iyiola Omisore, a former deputy governor of the state donning the flag of the Social Democratic Party (SDP); Gboyega Oyetola, a former chief of staff to the incumbent governor. contesting under the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC); Isiaka Adeleke, a senator seeking to become governor under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); a former Secretary to the State Government, Fatai Akinbade contesting under the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and another former Secretary to the State Government, Moshood Adeoti of the African Democratic Party (ADC).
Even though other political parties may be considered as underdogs, aggressive campaigns and media engagements that played out few days to the election is a pointer to what upset these ‘underdogs’ could mutter.
Beyond party politics, attention is on the state to see how it fares in the ugly trend of voters’ inducement which has characterised recent elections in Nigeria. It is still left to be seen if vows by INEC and security agencies will stem the tide.
Over one million people are eligible to vote in the election. According to INEC, about 1,246,915 permanent voter cards were collected by potential voters of the 1,682,495 registered voters.
Voting is expected to hold in about 3,010 polling units, across 30 local government areas.
The intention of the opposition parties is to defeat the ruling APC as the incumbent governor, Rauf Aregbesola bows out in November. The campaigns have been intense and the parties have speared no effort to ensure victory today.
However, INEC has promised a free, fair and credible exercise with the support of security agencies, and collaboration of other stakeholders.
The Investigative Journalism, in partnership with the Centre for Democracy and Development, has deployed about 180 observers in the 30 local governments of Osun.
Follow Newsflash247 for accurate live update, photos, videos and analyses from all 30 local governments in Osun State.
Ede South LGA, Alajue 1/2.At 7:26 the presiding officer introduces the electoral officer. He addresses the electorates about the time for the opening and closing of poll and further emphasizes the refusal to let anybody join the queue after 2:00pm. He went further to tell electorates on what ground they won’t be allowed to vote which are likely to be the use of a temporary voters card, electorates whose name isn’t on the voter’s register,if the card does not belong to the polling unit.
The assistant presiding officer stated preference would be given to the old, pregnant women and people with disability. An educated looking electorate however called the attention of the PO as regards the rendition of speech in complete English Language. The Spo VP then interpreted in Yoruba language for better understanding.
After his speech, flyers were being distributed to the electorates
There has been an impressive turn out of voters in Iwo LGA. In some polling units, voters were out at their polling units as early as 6:45am. Materials and INEC officials have generally been prompt in the local government as well.
In some of the polling units visited, polling points and materials were already set up as early as 7 am. Voters have also behaved responsibly in most area queuing up peacefully and checking their names on the voters registers.
Security officials have conducted themselves properly. There have been no reports of intimidation of voters by either party officials or security personnel. No report of violent any violent clashes as at 8 am, the official start of voting.
Ara 1/Ward 02/ Egbedore LGA; As at 8:00am, polling station wasn’t set although voters are already present.
Ward 5, Unit 9, Irewole LGA.
Opening of poll by the presiding officer was witnessed by a large turn out of voters.
Ward 5, Unit 9, Irewole LGA, party agents were bent on ensuring that all the code of conduct were well spelt out.
One even warned the APO (Assistant presiding officer) who is about to commence the process to stop and let everyone be informed of the number of materials deployed.
The authentication process commenced at 8:12am
The APO operating the machine could not get hold of its operations until the PO came to the rescue.
At 7:43 am, PU6, Ward 2, Osolo Hall, Oja Oba, Boripe LG, electorates seen checking their names. A Corps member, Idris, said there are 748 electorates expected to vote at the two voting points at the unit. There are 7 police officers presently on duty at the unit.
At 8:16,Ede South, Ward 4, Alajue1/2. Voting in progress. Preference is also being given to the elderly
At 8:17a.m., Unit 8, Ward 2 Ede North. The voting cubicle is secluded, affording the voter privacy to vote without being peered on.
At 8:20, electorates patiently waiting to exercise their franchise at Ward 7, Polling Unit, Iwo local government.
At 8:17 am: Ara 2/ward 3/Obada village/Egbedore LG, election materials,and INEC officials are yet to get to their polling units (PUs). They complained about the bad roads, so they are planning to go by biketo the PUs.
As at 8:28am, AUD primary school, Ward 6, Polling unit 6, Orolu L.G. Olufon area. Elderly men and women are given due preference to vote before others.
At 8:17 am, voting already going on in PU1, Ward6 Ororuwo, Boripe LG
At 8:21. Voting is yet to commence at PU 002, Ward 5 Ira-Gberi, Egbedore LGA. Though the delay is not caused by election materials but the INEC officials on scene. People are getting impatient with the system.
Ola-Oluwa: At 8:35 AM. Iwo-Oke II. After ten minutes of repeated attempts, the card reader fails to verify first two voters. The presiding officer is making phone calls, seeking assistance, ostensibly from the INEC office
Ward 5, Unit 9, Irewole LGA. Voting queue is moving very slowly.
At 8:29 am, at polling unit 10, voting point 1, Balogun Imole Ikirun , Ifelodun local government, voters, party agents and security officials are having a serious disagreement on how elderly ones should vote: whether they should be assisted by their relatives or no.
Ola-Oluwa LG: At 8:38 AM. Iwo-Oke II. Now, the card verification is successful, but not the fingerprint authentication. The officials are debating what to do.
8:20 am, voting has commenced at PU 003, St. Mary primary school, Igbaye, RA 03, Odò Otin with presiding officer instructing voters not to come with smart phones when they are about to vote. There are 608 registered voters on the list. There are 3 policemen, 1 NSCDC officer, and one immigration officer at the election scene.
At 8:22am , at Balogun Imole polling unit, Ikirun, Ifelodun local government, The PO is explaining to voters how to vote after the commencement of voting.
At 8;17, PU 003– Baptist PRY School, Oke Ila. Ward 05- OBAALE, Ifedayo local government. A group of police officers trooped in with their guns openly handled.
The officer leading the troop sternly warns the INEC officers and security officers around not to allow anybody to show his/her votes to anybody. And they should never allow vote buying.
At 8:15, PU 002,RA 5 (Ataoja E) LGA 30( OSOGBO), Osogbo grammar school, election commences and it was attested by the PO that there are 946 registered voters.
8:20am, disagreement among voters as a man jumped the queue at Ward 6, Unit 1, Ororuwo, Boripe LG
Ola-Oluwa LG: At 8:40AM. Iwo-Oke II. Voters are getting impatient and threatening to leave. Voting yet to commence.
8:40am: Irepodun LG, Ward 2, Unit 4, voting has commenced here. There are 457 registered voters.
At 8:31 am, voting has started at Ward 8 unit 2 Ikirun, Ifelodun LG. No. Reg voters is 858. According to the presiding officer, the voting started at 8am
Ola-Oluwa LG: At 8:44AM. Iwo Oke II. Finally, after skipping the first two, the third voter on the line is able to vote.
8:42am PU 005,ODE AGBON, Irewole local government, a young man who is not a security official was arrested by the security agents for using a security tag.
At 8:20am, ward 05, PU 005, Ataoja E, Osogbo LG, the presiding officer is still addressing the voters. Rules and regulations are also being read out.
Ejigbo: 8:47am. Baptist Elementary school, Isidun, ward 9, unit 6. There are two voting points. Voting ongoing. No problem with card readers. Security personnel well present.
At 8:34am, ward 05, PU 005, Ataoja E, Osogbo LG, voting is still going on. Many people have voted. The atmosphere is safe and everything is going on smoothly.
As at 8:52am at PU 05, Registration Area 03, Irewole local government voting ongoing.
At 9.04am, voting going on steadily at Ward 7 PU 12, Iwo LG, as the card reader is working well and registered voters are voting in succession.
In Polling Unit 005 ward 5 ileogbo Ayedire Local Govt Area, the Poling officer complained that the card reader is running out of battery. There are 279, four security personnel… I confirmed APC sharing money at this polling units.. Some complained of being given N,2000.00 while some said they were given N500. Two underage persons were caught by the security personnel and they were later allowed to vote.
8.57am: Voting is going on peacefully. The elderly are being assisted as required at Ward 07, PU 007,Community Pry. School, Oke-Ada, Irewole LGA.
Controversy between party agents and police officers at Ara/ ward 3/town hall/ Egbedore LG. The police refuse to allow use of mobile phones at the polling booths.
At 8:19 a.m. Ward 2 unit 6. Abogunde/sagba 12 Bisiku Lane, Ede North. Voting has commenced but the voting cubicle is somewhat open and accessible. Observers can easily see who a voter is voting for.
9:04 am. Unit 7, Ward 6,PU 008,Irewole local government has 532 registered voter. Voting ongoing.
As at 8:28 am, in AUD Primary School, ward 6, Polling Unit 6, Orolu L.G. Olufon area, the elderly people are being treated with respect by the voting officials. They are asked to sit down and thereafter move towards accreditation point as at when due.
A group of police officers trooped in with their guns. The officer leading the troop sternly warns the INEC officers and security officers around not to allow anybody to show their votes to anybody. And they should never allow vote buying.
At 8;34, PU 003– Baptist Primary School, Oke Ila. Ward 05- OBAALE, Ifedayo Local Government Area, gun shots were heard from distance. An eye witness, who doesn’t want his name mentioned and our driver, who had his car parked close to the area later confirmed to us that the gun shots came from police officers standing around Oke Ila Orangun Police station.
Ede South LGA: Ward 4, PU005 9:00am. Card reader could not recognise many of the voters even when they cleaned their fingers as directed. INEC officials, however, working patiently with the voters. The SPO addresses the electorate about the need to be patient.
9:04am, PU 005, Ward 8, Okua/Ekusa – St. Thomas primary school II, there are 427 registered voters on the list. The queue is a long one with two policemen and 1 NSCDC officer on ground. The various party agents are confined in a particular spot to monitor the electoral process.
At 9:07 at Ward 2 PU1 Ikirun LG, the accredited voters are 800. The PO directed his APO to start making use of the voting point after this observer asked for the numbers of voters in his PU.
At 9 :08am, Ike Oja PU 4, Ward 1 of Ifelodun Local Government, the PO refused to disclose the total numbers of ballot papers. But she asserted that there are enough ballot papers for the voters.
Ejigbo: 09:12am. Ward 9. PU 6. Some people complaining of not finding their names on the accredited voters list. This has discouraged some people from voting.
At 9:12am, Polling Unit 007, Ward 02, Boluwaduro Local govt, voting in progress, however some persons thumbprint could not be authenticated.
09:20 am: Large turnout of voters at Post Office, Gidigbo II, Ward 12.,Iwo Local Government.The polling unit of the ADP candidate, Moshood Adeoti. He is not here yet but voting is going on without hitch and there is no reported issue with the card readers. DSS officials and armed police officer are at the entrance of the polling unit.