By Bode Akinbade, Ibadan
Amidst several failed attempts resulting from legal impediments for eleven years halting the conduction of local government polls in Oyo State, election into the chairmanship positions in the 33 local governments and 35 LCDA’s in the state was held on Saturday amidst tight security.
Despite the exercise recorded low turn out in some polling units across the state, it was still held under a peaceful and rancour free atmosphere.
WESTERNPOST’s correspondent who went round some polling units in the state metropolis reports that most voters were reluctant in participating in the election, hinging their resolve on the premise that the out come might not reflect the interest of the electorate, as the opposition party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), opted out of the election process.
Despite hitch-free election process, officials were not at hand to kick-start the voting process at the designated time announced by the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC).
Some youths saw the restriction of vehicular movement as avenue to engage in playing football on the streets without any hindrance, which indicated that the election was not in the mindset of majority of the electorate in the state.
Tight security presence was visible at strategic areas in the lbadan metropolis to forstall possible breakdown of law and order.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi who arrived at the Oluyole Grammar School, Oluyole, Ibadan at ward 9, unit 20 at exactly 11:55 am, in a chat with newsmen after casting his vote along side his wife, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, five minutes after being accredited, expressed optimism that the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state would emerge victorious among other political parties.
He also expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the exercise which was witnessed by both local and international observers.
“Everybody is well organised as you can see. I really commend our people people for the peaceful conduct and for the support for a smooth electoral process.”
“It is great that Oyo State has moved from the era of brigandage for which it was known before the inception of our administration.”
The governor, however, reminded people that the purpose of any government was to ensure peace, security and socio-economic well-being of the people.
In his assessment of the election, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abiodun Odude disclosed that he moved round the metropolis and he was satisfied with the peaceful conduct of the election.
He further hinted that a comprehensive report would be released after the election process, while the CP described the election as peaceful, free and fair.
One of the observers from the human rights societies, Comrade Friday Maduka gave the election process a passmark, saying that voters’ turnout in the units observed was encouraging.