• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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BusinessDay

Large turnout of voters as Ondo holds Akoko North East/North West bye-election

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•••APC will win landslide — Adetimehin

Thousands of voters, on Saturday trooped out in their large numbers at various polling centres in Ondo state to exercise their franchise in the Akoko North East/North West federal constituency rerun election in the state.

BusinessDay reports that a total of eight political parties fielded candidates for the election but it was a two-horse race between the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party.

Candidate of the APC, Ife Ehindero, voted at Unit 2, Oyin/Oge Ward 4, Akoko North-West Local Government while candidate of the PDP, Olalekan Bada, voted at Ward 01, Unit 12 in Ikare-Akoko, Akoko North-East Local Government and the election was conducted across 23 wards in 329 polling units in the two local government areas.

Some presiding officers who spoke with journalists said electoral materials arrived their polling units on time and accreditation begun immediately after distribution of the materials to the various polling units.

The candidate of the APC, Ife Ehindero after casting his vote at Unit 2, Oyin/Oge Ward 4, Akoko Northwest local government, described the exercise as peaceful and orderly.

Ehindero said; “so far, by my personal assessment, the process has been very calm and peaceful. There hasn’t been any negative report from anywhere and I am hoping that it will continue like this. We’ve been monitoring all polling units across the 23 wards and 329 polling units in this federal constituency and we’ve not heard any negative report so far.

“Usually, during by-elections, the turnout is always low, compared to the general elections, so, we expected that it won’t be as much as that of the general elections but the turnout is not as high as we expect but from what I’m hearing from other polling units, we are hoping that our people will still come out to vote. We still have enough time since its between 8am and 2pm.

“The reports we are hearing shows that the people are happy, and I am optimistic that it’s going to be a landslide victory. The security agencies have been of good conduct so far. At my polling unit, security men have been professional and they hasn’t been any report of security breaches across the wards. The voting materials arrived on time. the INEC officials arrived on time and I believe same thing has been happening across the polling units. Personally, I feel INEC was well prepared for this election.”

While the candidate of the PDP Olalekan Bada, also described the process as peaceful and expressed optimism that he would win the election.

His words; “Where I voted in Ward 01, Unit 12 in Ikare-Akoko has been very peaceful. I voted around 10:00 a.m., and voting had been going on smoothly. The security arrangement was perfect.”

Bada stated that existing rotational representation between the two local government areas will favour him to win the polls.

“Due to the rotational agreement, it is the turn of Akoko North-East. If it goes to the North-West, it will take 11 years to come back to the North-East. So, I have the advantage.”

Meanwhile, the State Chairman of APC, Ade Adetimehin, who commended INEC and security operatives for the first conduct of a election, said the APC would win the election landslide because many PDP chieftains have defected to the APC.

As at press time, counting of votes has commenced.