An impressive turnout has greeted the Local Government election on Saturday in Ekiti State, as residents from many of the local communities trooped out in good number to vote their candidates, in spite of the challenges posed by biting scarcity of fuel.
While the opposition party in the state, All Progressive Congress (APC), has boycotted the election, four other parties have participated including the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Results coming are showing that PDP is in early lead, although the voting started at about 9am.
The local government elections also held under a peaceful atmosphere across the 16 council areas of the state visited. Local media monitored also reported that there were moderate turnout of voters across the 2,195 polling units and in the 16 local government areas.
The elections were held to elect new chairmen and councilors to pilot the affairs of the 16 councils and 177 wards across the state.
In some of the polling units visited at Okesa, Okeyinmi and Ajilosun areas of the State capital, election materials arrived at the polling units at about 9am instead of 8am .
Parties that participated in the polls are: People’s Democratic Party(PDP), Action Democratic Party(ADP), Peoples Party of Nigeria(PPN), Social Democratic Party(SDP) and Peoples Democratic Action(PDA).
Security agents, particularly the police were deployed in all the polling units while some observer groups were seen monitoring the polls.
Though, the fuel scarcity caused lateness of materials in some local governments like Ilejemeje, Otun, and Efon , but the exercise eventually held.
The Chairman of the Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission(EKSIEC) , Justice Kayode Bamisile, while monitoring the election, described the conduct as very peaceful and orderly.
The Deputy Governor, Kolapo Olusola, who voted at Ward 7 at Ikere Ekiti, said the elections witnessed massive turnout of voters in his town .
After voting at Imiro polling unit at Odo Oro Ekiti in Ikole local government area, a member of the House of Representatives, representing Ekiti North Federal constituency 1, Hon Kehinde Agboola, described the exercise as very impressive and orderly.
“I know that the PDP will sweep all the elections, we are on ground. This will serve as a test case for the 2018 governorship and send a signal that the PDP is still the party to beat”, he said.
The Secretary to the State Governor, Dr. Modupe Alade , who voted at her unit in Ifaki Ekiti , commended Governor Ayodele Fayose for reposing confidence in the local government system and working hard to strengthen it.
The Chief of State to the Governor, Chief Dipo Anisulowo, voted in his Are Ekiti countryhome and described the exercise as very impressive and orderly, praising the electorate for having belief in the third tier of government, the closest to the grassroots.
However, in spite of the restriction order placed by Governor Ayodele Fayose on human and vehicular movements between 8am and 2pm, some
motorists were found driving on the major roads.
Some traders also appeared at their duty posts to do minor transactions as the elections lasted.
But elections had nearly concluded by 12noon because some of the orderliness of the electoral exercise.
The elections were peaceful in Gbonyin, Ikole, Oye, Ikere , Ise and other local government areas of the state.
The SIEC Chairman added that the results of the elections will be declared later on Saturday after being collated at the local.