Adeolu Adeyemo – Osogbo
Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke on Saturday pleaded with residents of the state not to be scared to abandon their right to vote.
The governor who made the plea while casting his vote at Ward 3,unit1 Sagba Abogunde, Ede, Osun state, assured that security agencies are in top form to ensure that their votes and his vote are counted.
According to him, “I have issued relevant directives to service commanders to secure lives and properties as we all vote today.
“I need you, good people of Osun state, to vote massively. If you love democracy and good governance, stand up now and face your polling units”, the Governor charged the citizenry.
“You are still at home? Come out now and use your PVC as a democrat. It is safe outside. Exercise your right to vote and be voted for.
“Don’t be scared to abandon your right to vote. Security agencies are in top form to ensure that your vote and my vote count. I have issued relevant directives to service commanders to secure lives and properties as we all vote today.”
Meanwhile, the immediate past governor of the state, Adegboyega Oyetola, has enjoined officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to buckle up and prevent anything capable of leading to over-voting in any polling unit of the state.
Oyetola who commended the electoral umpire for its diligence said it was incumbent on the Commission to resist any temptation capable of compromising and marring the standard of the electoral process in the ongoing legislative election in the state.
This is even as Oyetola decried voters’ apathy and pocket of violence that characterised the election in parts of the State, urging residents to resist the PDP’s antics and troop out en masse to exercise their civic responsibilities.
The former governor stated these on Saturday while fielding questions from journalists shortly after he and his wife cast their vote, at Unit 10, Ward 1, Iragbiji, Boripe Local Government Area of the state.
Oyetola who arrived at his polling unit alongside his wife around 10:30 am expressed serious concerns about the serial attacks being launched on voters, particularly loyalists of his party – the All Progressives Congress (APC) in some parts of the state.
He listed some Local Government Areas where the challenges are being experienced including Osogbo, Olorunda, Ilesa-West, Ilesa-East, Atakunmosa West and Atakunmosa East as well as Councils in the Ife axis. He, therefore, called on security agencies and other concerned authorities to swing into action and address the menace.
He wondered how miscreants and political hoodlums would be freely attacking the electorate on the day of the election without check, saying such devilish act must be curtailed before it snowballs into something else as such could prevent voters from coming out to vote.
Oyetola who attributed the palpable voter apathy that characterised the House of Assembly election to incessant violent attacks, intimidation and extra-judicial killings and maiming of innocent residents in the last three months, said it had become imperative for the security agencies to immediately rise to the occasion and bring the perpetrators to book.
“Well, the exercise appears to be going on well. The turnout has not been particularly impressive alongside voter apathy, as we speak, compare with what was obtained three weeks ago.
“The turnout is not impressive at all. I heard of reports of pockets of violence in some parts of the state. I heard of Osogbo, Ife, Ilesa, Atakunmosa East and Atakunmosa West. I learnt that PDP thugs are molesting voters, particularly members of our party.
“Yes, I must commend the security agencies for rising up to the occasion but that is not enough, if we don’t guarantee security, people will not want to go out and vote, and this will hinder the turnout. As you can see, the present turnout cannot be compared with what we had the last time.
“As I commend the security for doing a good job, so also, the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Looking at what we have experienced here, it shows that they are doing very well. I can testify to this polling unit where I voted.
“I pray and I hope that we will not have cause to experience over-voting in any polling unit. It is common knowledge that over-voting takes place only when there’s a compromise in one way or the other.
“I want to enjoin INEC officials to ensure proper accreditation. If anybody doesn’t go through it, he or she shouldn’t be allowed to vote. We are looking forward to a very peaceful exercise. As I said, the turnout is not too impressive,” he added.
In a separate interview, former Speaker of the state House Of Assembly and the current ambassador of Nigeria to Mexico, Hon. Adejare Bello described the process of the election as excellent in unit 4 and unit 13 of ward 3, Ede-north Local government area.
He said, “the process is excellently ongoing here. Hopefully, it will be like this in all parts of the country. It is orderly, the INEC officials and security operatives are on the ground. The voters are complying with the directives.
“The turnout in unit 4 and unit 13 of ward 3, Ede-north LGA is quite impressive. The last time the votes were cast was over 700.
“We hope that the votes that will be cast today would bring succour to the downtrodden. It is not about voting every four years but improving the lives of the masses.
“It is my prayer that my party will win across the nation and God will direct them to do the yearnings and aspirations of the people because it is not about the election but development. It has been emphasised by the President-elect that prosperity is at our doors and no distraction will come his way.”
READ ALSO FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE