One killed, others injured in Ekiti LG poll
One person was confirmed dead and several others injured on Saturday during an election in the 16 local government areas of Ekiti State.
Tribune Online gathered that violence broke when individuals suspected to be political thugs invaded one of the units in Araromi area of Ikere-Ekiti in Ikere local government area and started shooting sporadically to snatch ballot boxes.
Journalists and observers scamper to safety as the fracas escalated with the political thugs attacking themselves with dangerous weapons and charms.
It was learnt party supporters resisted the hoodlums which led to the killing and injuries of about 5 persons during the violence that ensued.
A source who witnessed the fracas said: ” Yes, someone was killed when the thugs came and started shooting. Some people try to resist them by bringing out charms and that is why they shot the person and others also injured.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer(PPRO) Mr Sunday Abutu said he was not aware of the incident as at the time of this report.
Meanwhile, the election witnessed a low turnout of voters as most voters were performing their lawful businesses as the election lasted in most areas of the state.
In Ado-Ekiti metropolis, Ilawe-Ekiti, Ikere-Ekiti, other areas visited, commercial motorcyclists popularly called Okada riders were seen plying major roads, while traders opened their shops despite the restriction order announced by the police between 8 am and 2 pm.
Collation of results across the 177 wards and 16 local government areas had since commenced by the officials of the State Electoral Commission.
Speaking on the conduct of the poll, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Funminiyi Afuye regretted the low turnout of voters that was witnessed during the election.
“Though the turnout was a little bit low, it was peaceful at least in my area here. The reason could not have been unconnected with the impression by the Peoples Democratic Party that the All Progressives Congress will win all the seats, but Governor Kayode Fayemi believes in democracy and allows the free and fair process,” he said.
Afuye, who voted at St Johns Primary School in Ikere Ekiti unit, declared support for e-voting electoral system, saying he was ready to support any action that would improve the country’s elections.
The APC state chairman, Mr Paul Omotoso, who voted at Imesi-Ekiti in Gbonyin local government commended the peaceful nature of the poll in his area, commending Governor Kayode Fayemi for setting the pace on how best to conduct a credible poll.
He said: “I am hopeful that APC will win across the state because we don’t see opposition candidates campaigning in the state. The party is true on ground in the state and despite the fact we lost a senator recently, it has not affected the love of the people to the party. In my unit here, people turn out to vote.”
The Information Commissioner, Mr Muyiwa Olumilua, who voted at Community Pilot School, polling unit 006, Oke Osun ward in Ikere, praised the State Independent Electoral Commission(SIEC) for the smooth conduct of the election.
He said: “The Low turnout was a clear testimony that the opposition is very weak and about the impression that the ruling party will win. Governor Fayemi wants democracy to prevail and on that, we stand.”
While voting at Ward 2, unit 008, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Development Partnership, Mrs Margaret Fagboyo, hinged the low turnout as a confirmation that the PDP has been weakened in the state.
On his part, the chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Mr Gboyega Oguntuwase alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress masterminded the violence across the state.
According to him: ” From what we hear all over, the election is riddled with violence. The election obviously as expected in an APC state is not fair, as I speak with you, it is believed that they have shot one person dead as one or two persons received gunshot. Having a local government election and killing people. Can any reasonable person accept the result of an election that is riddled with violence and fraud? It is clear. We won’t accept it.”
On whether the PDP will go to court, he said: “Consultations will be made with the leaders and we will take the necessary step. We warned them earlier. We told them that we might not have a free and fair election with the calibre of people they put at SIEC and with the nature of APC. See what they did in Kogi and Bayelsa States for instance. They cannot tolerate true democracy.”