There was massive turnout of voters in major cities of Ondo on Saturday as eligible voters trooped out en masse to elect new governor for the state.
From Akure township, which falls within the Central Senatorial District to Owo and Ipele in the Northern Senatorial District, Sunday Tribune correspondents who monitored the process reported that most of the polling units witnessed large number of voters, who came as early as 7.30 a.m. to perform their civic responsibilities.
However, in some of the polling units at Owo, some of the voters and presiding electoral officers complained of malfunctioning of the smart card readers, saying the development had slowed down the voting process.
Speaking to journalists after casting his vote at Unit 6, Ward 5 of Isokun Oke Ijebu, Owo, the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), said with the unfolding events, “by the grace of God, we are winning this election.”
Accompanied by his wife, Akeredolu, who voted around 10.30 a.m. asserted that “I am convinced that I am winning this election. I am the next governor of Ondo State by the grace of God.”
Commenting on the call for the postponement of the election by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Mr Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), he contended that there was no justifiable reason for the postponement of the election, stressing that “it is PDP’s internal problem. The call for the postponement is a lame excuse. It is an excuse for the imminent loss of the PDP in the election.”
On the assessment of the performance of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Akeredolu said “you cannot judge INEC until the process is on and over. They ought to have tested their smart card readers before now.”
At Ijegun Junction, Unit 9, Ward 4 in Ijebu Owo, Sunday Tribune gathered that eligible voters besieged the polling unit but the election exercise was delayed because of the malfunctioning condition of the card readers.
One of the voters, Mr Samuel Obajalaye, said “we have been here since 8.30am, the card reader is not working. The polling officer called somebody to fix it, but the card reader failed to work.”
At Unit 12, Ward 07, in Ipele of Owo Local Government, the presiding officer, Mr Uchenna Nnamonu, said voting commenced in the area around 8.00 a.m, just as one the chieftains of the APC in the area, Mr Nuel Olaeleyinle, described the conduct of the election exercise as peaceful.
Similarly, the standard-bearer of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Dr Olu Agunloye, who cast his vote at Ward 8, Unit 10 in Akoko North West Local Government, said the election was peaceful and there was encouraging atmosphere for eligible voters to exercise their civic responsibilities.”