Snatching of ballot boxes and late arrival of electoral materials were the bane of Saturday’s local government election in Ondo State.
Outright snatching of materials was witnessed in Karibo, Apoi Ward 2, in Ese-Odo Local Government area, where the materials were carted away on Friday night.
Efforts by the youth in the area to prevent the snatching of the materials resulted in a clash between them and the thugs, with attendant injuries and damage of properties.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the hoodlums, in spite of the intervention, still succeeded in carting away some materials.
In Akure South Local Government Area, Unit 19, Ward 4, at Omolere Primary School in particular, some hoodlums stormed the venue after voting had commenced and carted away the voting materials.
A female party agent of the Social Democratic Party(SPD)at the unit who refused to mention her name said she had earlier been called by some political parties at the polling unit to take some financial inducement to allow them perpetrate the act.
“I was offered N30,000 to allow them take away the ballot box, but I told them am a Christian and I can’t sell my conscience,” the woman told journalists.
“Before I know it some set of people on a bike came in suddenly and carted away the ballot box, including the unused ballot paper,” she said.
Voting materials also arrived late in many polling units in Akoko North-East and some parts of Akure North local governments.
As at 9a.m., Ward 9 in Oba-Ile, Akure South was yet to get materials to the polling units for voting to commence.
Although some security operatives had been deployed, the ad hoc staff of the Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission were yet to report to the units at the time.
Voting was also delayed in Akoko North East, as units were yet to get materials as of 12p.m.
The turnout for the election was expectedly low, as the polling units had few persons turning out to vote.
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However, the state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, while casting his vote at his Unit 6, ward 5 Ijebu-Owo at 10.44am, said the election was peaceful and met his expectations.
He said the election was a huge success and that the turnout was impressive.
Also, the Chief Whip of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Olayemo Adeyemi, said he was impressed with the turnout of voters.
The Peoples Democratic Party is not participating in the polls, as it had withdrawn from the election, citing issues of credibility.
The Social Democratic Party withdrew its participation a day to the election after its members were violently attacked in Idanre.
The Zenith Labour Party, which was looking good to do well at the polls, also withdrew its participation after it raised concerns of violence against its members and fairness on the part of the ODIEC.
ODIEC Spokesman, Rotimi Olufemi, when contacted on the issues, said his office was yet to receive details on the developments on the field.
He said only field reports would indicate the true position of process so far.
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