The local government and councillor’s election in Ekiti State experienced political apathy across the 2,196 polling units in the state.
Reporters who visited many polling units in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, Ikogosi-Ekiti, Ikere, Igbara Odo noticed that the voters stayed away from the poll largely declared to be violence-free.
Voting started in some polling units around 8:30 with the security agencies on guard to provide adequate security for the Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission ad hoc staff.
The restriction of movement between 8am and 2pm declared by the state government and the police was greatly ineffective as motorists and motorcyclists were seen moving freely around Ado Ekiti city and other towns.
Traders were seen doing their businesses undisturbed at the renowned Oja Oba, Oja Irona and Oja Enu Odi markets in Ado Ekiti, while the commercial motorcyclists were seen doing skeletal works across the capital city.
Some shops and filling stations in the capital city and other towns were also opened for business activities as the polls lasted.
The Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Biodun Oyebanji casted his vote at Oke Lele ward 06 Unit 003 in Ikogosi Ekiti, Ekiti West Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
Oyebanji commended the voters for coming out to exercise their human rights and for their peaceful dispositions.
“Local government elections are very critical to the survival of any democracy, because it is the closest to the people. I commend my people for taking interest in this election and I want the electoral officers to do what is right and allow the votes of the electorate to count”.
Speaking while overseeing the polls, Hon. Toyin Lucas, the Chairman, House of Assembly Committee on the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC), noted that the low turnout of voters didn’t invalidate the outcome as long as the whole process remained peaceful and credible.
He also explained that the free movements of human and vehicles is as result of the ongoing November National Examinations Council(NECO) being undertaken by some candidates, stating that such people can’t be restricted, since it is being held across the nation .
“We have low turnout in the morning and you could all see that the process is improving. People are coming out gradually to vote. The process has been peaceful without any rancour or crisis despite that six political parties are contesting these elections. The party agents are on ground without molestation.
“The people that are moving around are those with genuine reasons. Some students are writing NECO examinations and those on essential duties as well as those who are going to far distance to cast their votes are allowed to move freely despite the restriction”.
Lucas also added that the elections are of topmost importance to the people, because the local governments are the closest to the grassroots along with the enthusiasm that accompanies the creation of new Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) by the APC-led government.