Ekiti Decides: Mass turnout of voters, heavy security presence greet guber election

Unprecedented number of enthusiastic voters, on Saturday, thronged various polling units in different towns, villages and hamlets in Ekiti State to perform their civic rights in the ongoing governorship election.

Also, there were combined security operatives on the ground to protect the lives and property in different locations of the State.

At the Ekiti State office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), there was a heavy presence of security agents to forestall any eventuality.

NAN reports that security agents arrived at many polling units as early as 7.20 am.

Aside from the police, other security agencies providing security include men of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) the Civil Defence Corps and the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

At some of the border towns linking Ekiti with other States, military personnel were strategically stationed with officers and men, keeping vigil and conducting a search on vehicle owners and occupants.

The restriction placed on human and vehicular movement during the election was strictly obeyed by residents and travellers alike, as most inter-township roads were empty.

This development compelled many voters to trek long distances to their polling units, as there were no taxi or commercial motorcycle operators to convey them.

Besides, all markets, shops and eateries were under lock and key.

Some of the places visited included Ado-Ekiti, Ikere-Ekiti, Efon-Alaaye, in Efon Local Government area, Ifaki-Ekiti, the home town of Segun Oni, the Governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Other areas were Ise-Ekiti, the home town of former Minister of State for Works, Dayo Adeyeye, Emure-Ekiti, Ido-Ekiti and Omuo-Ekiti, the hometown of Senator Biodun Olujimi of the PDP and Rep. Femi Bamisile of the APC.

In many of the places visited, scores of voters were seen already on queues, waiting for the attention of the electoral officers.

Those sighted among the crowd of the enthusiastic voters, include students and artisans between the 18 and 20 years bracket, old people and a handful of expectant mothers.

It was observed that in most of the places, officials, including ad hoc staff deployed by INEC arrived only a few minutes after 8.00 am, while some of them have no chairs to sit on.

Sixteen candidates from different political parties are slugging it out in today’s election, with only a female candidate, Mrs Kemi Elebute-Halle of ADP.

Others include candidates of ACCORD, AAC, SDP, YPP, ZLP, ADC, APC, APGA, APM, APO, LO, NNPP, NRM, PDP and PRP.

Seventeen thousand policemen were deployed for the governorship election, with NSCDC deploying 9,747, while the army and others also deployed appreciable figures.

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of INEC, Mrs Morolake Odebunmi, told NAN that there was nothing much to do at the State’s INEC office this morning.

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