Apathy Mars Ekiti Council Polls
• Fayose, APC Disagree On Turnout
COUNCIL polls held in Ekiti State, yesterday, recorded an unimpressive turnout, as many voters shunned the exercise.
Although five registered political parties were said to have fielded candidates, the election looked like a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-only affair. Agents of other parties were not visible at all the 2,195 polling units across 177 wards in the 16 local councils of the state.
The main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and 15 other parties, under the aegis of Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), boycotted the election, faulting the composition of the Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission (EKSIEC), alleging it was full of card-carrying members of the PDP.
An Ado Ekiti High Court on Wednesday dismissed a suit filed by the APC against the composition of the electoral body. The party has vowed to appeal the judgment.
EKSIEC had said KOWA, African People Alliance (APA), United Peoples Party (UPP) and Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) would participate in the elections. Agents of the parties, however, were absent in all the polling units.
EKSIEC had called for restriction to movement of vehicles between 8am and 4pm. On Friday, however, Governor Ayodele Fayose relaxed this to 2pm, to allow people keep pace with preparations for Christmas.
In a departure also from EKSIEC directive that accreditation should hold between 8am and 1pm before voting, voters were allowed to do both simultaneously.
At Ward 05, Unit 016, Oke Iyinmi in Ado Ekiti, only 16 voters out of 626 had been accredited and had voted as at 11.20am, while only 21 out of 1,250 had done the same at Ward 9, Unit 008.
At Ajitadundun Unit 006, Ward 9, 16 out of 1, 471 people were accredited as at 11.41am, while 18 out of 1,046 were accredited and had voted at Unit 17 Ward 10, as at 11.49am. A moderate turnout was witnessed at Ijigbo Ward 4, Unit 007, where 105 out of 581 registered voters were confirmed to have been accredited and had voted at about 12pm.
At Agbado/Oyo Ward, Unit 003, Ikere Ekiti in Ikere council, 35 out of 426 registered voters were accredited, as at 10.10 am, while a total of 32 out of 405 were accredited at Unit 004 in the same ward. A similar situation was witnessed at Oke Iruku Ward, Unit 005, where 54 out of over 500 were accredited as at 10.30am.
Fayose expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the election, which he described as “very free, fair and credible.” He also praised
voters for turning out en masse.
He said: “The information we are getting have been impressive. The turnout was impressive. In some places, the turnout was very impressive, while people came out late in some areas. But the turnout has been impressive. I have been contacting those on the field. What we are getting is quite impressive and I commend our people for that.”