By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
The conduct of the Local Government Elections conducted in Ekiti State on Saturday witnessed low turnout of voters but violent-free across the 2,195 polling units across the state by the electorate .
While in some towns like Ado, Ikere, Otun, Igbara Odo, Aramoko, Efon and others causing delay in the commencement of the process , the elections later commenced with security agencies on guard to provide adequate security cover for the SIEC ad hoc staff.
The restriction bewteen 8am and 2pm announced by the state government and the police was largely ineffective as motorists and motorcyclists were seen moving around Ado Ekiti city and other towns visited.
At the popular Oja Oba, Oja Irona and Oja Enu Odi markets in Ado Ekiti, traders were seen doing their businesses unhindered 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 voted at Oke Lele ward 06 unit 003 in Ikogosi Ekiti, Ekiti West local government area of Ekiti State.
Oyebanji praised the voters for coming out to exercise their franchise rights and for their peaceful dispositions.
“Local government election is very critical to the survival of any democracy, because it 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 monitoring the polls, the Chairman, House of Assembly Committee on the State Independent Electoral Commission(SIEC), Hon. Toyin Lucas, said the low turnout of voters doesn’t vitiate the outcome as long as the process remains peaceful and credible.
He also ascribed the free movements of human and vehicles to the ongoing November National Examinations Council(NECO) being undertaken by some candidates, saying 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 pecaeful 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 added that the elections are of utmost importance to the people, because the local governments are the closest to the grassroots coupled with the enthusiasm that accompanies the creation of new Local Council Development Areas(LCDAs) by the APC-led government.