Osun Poll: Early turn out, vote buying

Voters accreditation

As people of Osun State go to poll to elect a new governor on Saturday, there are reports of vote buying going on in some wards by agents of some political parties participating in the election.

Mr Gboyega Oyetola, APC governorship candidate  in Osun poll, casting his vote

Mr Gboyega Oyetola, the APC governorship candidate in Osun poll, casting his vote

The Renaissance gathered that in Egbedore, Ward 01, Polling Unit: 002 among others, there was a report of vote buying at the price of N2000.

The vote buying was allegedly being perpetrated in the full glare of the security agents stationed at various polling booths.

The Renaissance correspondent reported that accreditation of voters started at 8.00 a.m. in virtually all the polling units across the state following the arrival of electoral officials and materials as early as 7.00 a.m.

Osun state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Adelani Baderinwa, while voting at Isale Aafo, Ikirun his hometown in Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state, adjudged the electoral process as peaceful, credible and warns against violence.
Baderinwa told newsmen that the election has been free, credible and peaceful and commended the INEC for a job well done.
“Polling units opened early and election materials also arrived early,” he said.
The commissioner also commended the security agent’s for their professionalism.
He said that was the difference between APC and PDP. “Hundred security agent’s are not seen around unlike 2014 where over 75, 000 security agent’s were deployed with several of them hooded and harassing electorate’s”.
He noted that “the professionalism of the security agent’s largely contributes to the huge turnouts we are witnessing now.”
Renaissance reports that in ward 5, Orisunbare village in Ede South Local Government Area, at 8.15 a.m., voting had already started.
The same situation occurred at ward 4, unit 10, Alajue polling unit, situated at Seventh Day Primary School, Ede Unit 10, Ward 4.
International observers from the United States Embassy were on the ground monitoring the voting exercise.
The presiding officer of Ward  5 at Fagbewesa polling unit, Mr Saheed Oyewole said the election officers arrived at 5.50 a.m.
The party agent of Social Democratic Party at the polling unit,  Mrs Sarah Alabi commended the conducts of the INEC officers saying “as, at this morning, INEC has done well. The officers arrived early and they are well organised. They relate to everyone in a civilised manner.”
Despite the drizzling in Ede, voters were not deterred as they stood on their queues casting their votes.
Sen. Ademola Adeleke, the PDP candidate, casting his vote in Ede

Sen. Ademola Adeleke, the PDP candidate, casting his vote in Ede

One of the Assistant Presiding Officer ll, Miss Herold Mercy, told The Renaissance correspondent that the exercise was peaceful, as adequate materials had been made available for the election.
Also, the enthusiastic voters, mostly elderly people, trooped out to the various polling centres in Orolu and Irepodun local government of the state  in readiness to carry out the franchise.
There was a large security presence in Osogbo and Ede and security arrangements were good.
INEC warns against publication of false results

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral (INEC) has warned against announcing or publishing false election results as the collation of the Osun governorship election results has begun.

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The Commission gave the warning on Saturday through its Twitter handle @inecnigeria.

It said that the official results would be available as announced by the election Returning Officer.

“Announcing or publishing a false election result is an offence.

“It is a criminal offence punishable by a term of imprisonment.

“The official #OsunDecides2018 results will be uploaded on our platforms as declared by the Returning Officer,” the commission said.

Osun Poll: Observer group gives INEC pass mark

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in partnership with Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the conduct of the Osun governorship election.

Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State undergoing accreditation during the governorship election. on Saturday.

Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State undergoing accreditation during the governorship election. on Saturday.

According to the Preliminary Report made available on Saturday by the CDD Director, Idayat Hassan, in Abuja, CDD -PTCIJ deployed 180 trained and accredited observers for the poll.

The group said its observers reported that election materials arrived in Polling Units (PUs) on time in most PUs and the accreditation and voting processes commenced with minimal hitches to the voting process.

‘’CDD-PTCIJ observer reports indicate that on the average, accreditation and voting processes commenced at 8:19 a.m. across 122 polling units observed across the 30 LGAs.

‘’The voter turnout is impressive compared to previous off-cycle elections. We are hopeful it may be at par with the 53 per cent turnout recorded in the last 2014 governorship election in the state,” it said.

According to the report, the voting process went on smoothly without significant hitches.

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‘’In few instances, there were minor glitches with the smart card readers (SCR), but INEC technicians were on hand to fix them, an example is PU 04 located at Oja Oke Open Space, the voting session was momentarily halted to fix an issue with the card reader.

‘’On the whole, however, the voting process commenced promptly and mostly went on peacefully as citizens exercised their franchise,” it said.

The report also revealed that the INEC’s new policy on vote buying was commendable.

‘’The ban of the use of mobile phones and other recording devices in voting cubicles by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) largely thwarted blatant vote buying.

‘’In most of the polling units where we observed the ongoing election, voters willingly complied with the policy, and in a case where such attempt to violate the policy, law enforcement agents and INEC officials saw to its enforcement.

The group, however, commended INEC on what it called ‘’the introduction of tactile ballots in the elections.”

From From-Saheed Adeyemi and Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo
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