BREAKING: Security agents swoop on vote buyers as Osun elects new Governor •Card reader rattles Adeleke

Posted by News Express | 1 January 1970 | 2,357 times

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•Voters queue in Osogbo for the Osun governorship election. Photo: NAN.

A team of police personnel on election duty in Iwo Local Government Area of Osun State have arrested two suspected vote buyers.

Both men were arrested at the St Mary Grammar School in Elewe-Iwo.
CSP El-Mustapha Sani, who announced the arrest on behalf of the DIG in charge of the election, said when the men were searched, the sum of N604,000 was found on them.

He added that upon interrogation, they confessed that the money was meant for party agents and electoral officials.

The case is being investigated.

Vote buyers are having a bad day  as security agents attached to polling units have effectively barred voters from taking their smart phones into voting cubicles.

In past elections, voters took their smartphones into the cubicles and then snapped their ballot papers to present to vote buyers in exchange for cash.

The phenomenon called ‘see and buy’, was deemed a stain on the integrity of Nigeria’s elections. However, the Independent National Electoral Commission, along with security agents have vowed to end the practice.

In some of the polling units visited in Ilesa and Ile-Ife, majority of the voters came to the polling units with their smartphones. However, security agents did not allow them to take them inside the cubicles, where they vote.

A security personnel, who spoke with NAN on the condition of anonymity, said move had so far checked the incidence of vote-buying at polling units.

Mr Jimmy George, an election observer, commended security agents for preventing voters from using their phones inside the cubicles.

George , who is the National Secretary of the National Committee of Patriots, said the action of the security agents would minimise vote-buying in the election.

Meanwhile, accreditation and voting in the election continued on a peaceful note in many polling units across the state.

At Unit 12A, Ward 05 in Ile-Ife, voters were seen on the queue peacefully with INEC ad hoc staff attending to them.

It was also observed that the card reader machines were also working perfectly at the polling unit visited by NAN.

Mr Lukman Adedini, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), agent confirmed that the election had been peaceful.

Adedini also commended INEC ad hoc staff for arriving on time.

Also at Ward 6, Remo Unit 2 in Ile-Ife, many voters were seen on the queue.

Mrs Victoria Komolafe, the Presiding Officer, who said the election had been orderly and peaceful, also commended the large turnout of voters.

Mr Olayade Abiola, the SDP party agent at the polling unit, commended INEC for the prompt arrival of materials.

As voting got underway, there was a moment of panic for the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ademola Adeleke, as the card reader did not initially work.

Adeleke voted in Ward 2 Unit 9 at Sagba-Abogunde in Ede north at about 8:01 am after an initial hitch with the card reader.

”The card reader took a lot of processes before it started working and I hope it is not the same in other polling units,’’ he said.

Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) covering the election reported a high turnout at many of the polling units visited across the three senatorial districts of the state.

A heavy security cordon was also thrown on the state with the massive deployment of policemen as well as other security agencies while soldiers were sighted on the outskirts of the state capital.

NAN reports that there are 3,010 Polling Units and 755 Polling Points spread across the three senatorial districts and 30 local governments areas of the state.

Although INEC registered a total of 1,682,495 voters, some 400,000 Permanent Voters Cards remained uncollected at at Friday.

NAN also reports that although 48 parties are participating in the election, the frontline candidates are Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress(APC), Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party and Iyiola Omisore of the Social Democratic (SDP).

NAN also reports that accreditation and voting commenced about 8 am simultaneously across many polling units

In Osogbo, the state capital, many of the residents had trooped to their polling units as early as 6.am.

NAN reports that at Osunbukola Ward 10 Unit 003 Polling Unit in Egbedore, more than 300 voters were sighted on the queue while accreditation and voting commenced about 8.10am.

There were also some policemen and NSCDC personnel at the polling unit.

The Accreditation Officer at the unit, Mashood Samson, told NAN that the exercise has been hitch-free with the card readers working perfectly.

An official of the Transition Monitoring Group, Dr Abiola Afolabi, told NAN the exercise in the units visited so far has been orderly.

At the Ward 5 Unit 1 Polling Unit in Osogbo Local Government, more than 300 voters were on the queue for accreditation and voting which started at 8.10.am.

An international observer from the National Democratic Institute who simply identified herself as Miss Courtney said the exercise so far has been transparent, an assessment corroborated by Busayo Soyebi of the Centre for Transparent Advocacy.

At the Osogbo Polling Unit 2 Ward 5 inside Osogbo Grammar School, no fewer than 200 voters were sighted waiting to be accredited.

NAN also reports that the exercise was orderly while five policemen and one NSCDC official were sighted keeping vigil.

In Iragbiji, the hometown of the APC candidate, Gboyega Oyetola, there was also a massive turnout.

At the polling units in LA primary School Popo, Ward 1, Oja Oba Town Hall, Ward 2, Osolo Hall, Ward 1 and Oke-Osun, Ward 1B, many of the voters arrived as early as 7:00 am to check their names on the voters’ list.

At exactly 8:24, accreditation and voting started at Polling Unit 2, LA Primary School Popo.

Some voters, however, complained that they could not find their names on the voters’ register.

The INEC Presiding Officer, Mr Lawal Adewale, said they had no challenges at the voting unit as materials arrived early.

He said those complaining they could not find their names on the voters’ register were not at the polling unit to vote

More than 200 voters were at the polling unit made up three voting points to cast their vote.

•Based on NAN and Channels TV reports.


Source: News Express

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