Sunday, 21 October 2012

Ondo Decide: Update

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After months of intense politicking and anxiety, the Ondo State governorship election ended yesterday with Governor Segun Mimiko  of the Labour Party emerging victorious.
The announcement of the results by the Independent National Electoral Commission began at 2:55am today and ended at 4:30am when  the process was discontinued.  One of the INEC officials told the gathering of  electoral
officials, party agents and security agents that more declaration of the results would resume at 10am.
As of the time the announcement was stopped, the results from 15 Local Government Areas had been announced. The results clearly showed that  Mimiko’s victory at the poll was all but assured.
Out of the 15 LGAs, the LP candidate won in 12 LGAS including Akoko South-East, Akoko North-East, Akoko North-West and others. The Action Congress of Nigeria candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, won in two local government areas, while the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Olusola Oke,  won in one.
ACN won in Akeredolu’s local government, Owo, and Senator Ajayi Boroffice’s Akoko South West Local Government Area. PDP won in Okitipupa Local Government Area.Results from three local government council areas were not declared.
Mimiko started the day on a good note winning his polling unit whereas the Action Congress of Nigeria candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, lost  his polling unit and ward to the governor’s party.
Mimiko polled 348 votes at his Ondo Ward 7 Unit 20, while the PDP and the ACN scored 18 and 16 respectively. Voters across Ondo trooped out to the streets after Mimiko’s victory in his ward.
Akeredolu scored 139 in his Ward 5 Unit 6 in Owo, while Mimiko  scored 144 votes, just as the PDP polled 35.
It was also gathered that the PDP lost at the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Mr. Kingsley Kuku’s polling unit, RCM Unit 2, Arogbo Ward1. The result showed that the LP polled 97; PDP, 85; and ACN 16.
At Adumasi House, Unit 04, Ilepa Ward II, Ikare, Akoko North-East Local Goverment Area, ACN had 82 votes with the LP polling 100 and PDP, 60.
There was jubilation in Akure, Ondo and Owo towns when news filtered in that the LP was  leading  in the results announced at the various polling units in the state.
There were altercations between loyalists of LP and the ACN in some parts of Oka, Ikare and Akungba over the election results.
Some of the ACN members had accused the ruling LP of engaging in ballot stuffing in some areas.
Despite initial fears of voter apathy, there was a high turnout of voters in most parts of the state.
In Ondo-North Senatorial District of the state, voters trooped out to polling centres amidst tight security by the joint patrol team comprising army, police, civil defence and men of the State Security Service.
As early as 6am, security agents were seen patrolling all major roads in the district.
Stern-looking security men mounted roadblocks and stopped vehicles from Okene, Benin and Abuja at the Ondo State borders.
Helicopters of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Air Force kept the state under surveillance during the period of voting.
In Oka, Ikare, Arigidi, Akungba and other communities in the Ondo-North Senatorial District, voters were at polling centres as early as 6:30am.
By 7am, electoral officers were at the polling stations awaiting materials from INEC officials.
Accreditation began in some of the units at exactly 8am while it was delayed in others areas till about 9a.m, as a result of logistics.
In Unit 8, Ward 6, Ayegunle via Oka-Akoko, voters were already being accredited as of 8am, with agents of the PDP, LP and ACN present.
At Unit O4 Ward II, palace ward, CAC and others in Ikare, young and elderly men, women and youths jostled for accreditation and voting.
The Supervisory Presiding Officer in Ikare, Mr. Oladele Adebisi, expressed deep concern that some of the presiding officers recruited for the exercise did not turn up.
He said, “We are happy that the people are complying, and we are working hard to meet up with time and finish with accreditation on schedule.
“The only challenge we have is shortage of hands in some units. So now I am looking for more hands for units where there are more people.
“There is supposed to be an Assistant Polling Officer with one APO I and II, two each in each unit. But some of those billed to work are not available.”
The Ofua of Ikareland, Chief Alfred Omotola, described the turnout of voters as impressive.
He said, “We are peace-loving people. We are orderly here. There is no problem at all. I have come here to do my accreditation, and I have been accredited.
“No one will be forced to vote for a party when voting begins. Everyone will vote for a party of his or her choice.”
In some polling units, security agents were seen screening voters before being allowed to queue up for voting.
In Unit 10, Ward 5, where Boroffice registered, two regular policewomen were on ground, but the senator complained about inadequate security personnel in his unit.
He expressed fears of possible disruption of the exercise as some unnamed persons had earlier threatened to disrupt the exercise.
However, he said a detachment of soldiers on guard about 500 meters away from the booth had assured the people of adequate security of their votes.
In Ugbo, stern-looking and heavily armed soldiers appeared to be in a show of power with the police.
A police detachment was refused passage by armed soldiers, who barred motorists from moving before 5pm.
Entreaties by the leader of the police detachment to the soldiers fell on deaf ears as the soldiers only allowed journalists passage after proper identification.
The police detachment had to stay in the queue like civilians while bemused members of the public watched the scene.
Police siren-blaring vehicles were warned by soldiers at checkpoints.
Some residents, who defied the movement restriction order, were made to jump along the road by the soldiers.

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