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Ondo: 318 Candidates scramble for 26 seats as INEC insists on supplementary election

[FILE PHOTO] INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

No fewer than 198 candidates from 13 political parties will be slugging it out in today’s House of Assembly elections in Ekiti state.

INEC made this known yesterday in Ado Ekiti at an interactive session by the State’s Public Relations Officer of the Commission, Taiwo Gbadegesin, saying the contestants are from 13 political parties namely APC, PDP, NAC, LP, ACPN, NLC, ADC, NDL, YP, AAC, NPC, PPN and MPN.

Gbadegesin, who spoke on behalf of INEC’s Administative Secretary, Muslim Omoleke, who doubles as the State Acting Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) added that all is set for the polls. He also disclosed that they have distributed all sensitive materials to the 16 local government areas of the state for the smooth conduct of the elections scheduled for today. He advised all regular and ad hoc staff to remain non-partisan, by displaying patriotism through neutrality and shunning of corrupt tendencies that could mar the poll.

Meanwhile in Ondo State, 318 candidates would slug it out for the 26 seats of the state Assembly today. The state’s INEC REC, Rufus Akeju, disclosed this yesterday, confirming that all arrangements have been put in place to ensure hitch free exercise in the state. He also stated that supplementary election would hold in areas where election was declared inconclusive during the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Meanwhile the Ondo South Senatorial District poll was declared inconclusive in 56 polling units across four councils due to the difference between the leading candidate and first runner up that was less than the total cancelled votes. 

The PDP candidate, Nicholas Tofowomo scored 79,029 votes to defeat APC’s candidate, Yele Omogunwa, who polled 51,993; the former leading with 27,036 votes in the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly poll. Akeju said they started movement of election materials since Tuesday from the Central Bank to local government areas from where they would be moved appropriately.

He enjoined voters with Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to come out en masse to vote for candidates of their choice, urging politicians to allow peace to reign before, during and after the elections. 

But the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) state Chairman, Clement Faboyede, disclosed that findings from INEC data showed that the remaining ballots for the affected areas were 28,300 while only 24,760 voters collected their PVCs.  According to him, if the whole 24,760 voters were allowed to vote for the APC, PDP would still be leading with 2,276 votes. “So, why is INEC trying to waste time and funds conducting this unnecessary exercise? We are calling on INEC to declare Tofowomo as the winner of Ondo South Senatorial District.”

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