- Laments poor turnout of voters
From Priscilla Ediare, Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor Biodun Oyebanji has expressed optimism that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will win all the 26 seats in the March 18 House of Assembly election in the state.
He, however, lamented the low turnout of voters that greeted the election, saying voters who were expected to come out in their large numbers to elect new lawmakers for the state did not show up.
The governor who said the turnout in the state Assembly election was not as impressive as was recorded in the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections in the state, described the development as unpleasant.
He, however, commended the National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) over its improvement on the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, (BVAS), saying the system was a great value added to the electoral process.
Oyebanji made the remarks shortly after casting his vote at his Ward 006, Unit 003, Okelele street, in his country home of Ikogosi-Ekiti, Ekiti West Local Government Area of the State.
“So far so good, I just cast my vote and using my Ward as an example on the improvement on INEC technology,” he said.
“I think we have to commend the Federal Government and more importantly, the INEC for the remarkable improvement on the technology deployed, as well as the entire exercise.
“The deployment of the new technology will no doubt help to improve on the exercise through management of time and energy.”
He described the process as credible, through the usage of the technological innovation to ensure credible elections.
Some of the electorate at various polling units expressed happiness that they were able to exercise their voting rights, and commended the peaceful process.
Similarly, the state deputy governor, Mrs Monisade Afuye, expressed confidence that the APC will clear all the 26 seats in in the state Assembly poll.
The Deputy Governor spoke after voting at her Atiba/Aafin Ward 001, Akamija Unit 003, at Ikere Ekiti, Ikere Local Government Area of the state.
“This election is very dear to Mr Governor, Biodun Oyebanji. It is the assembly that will work with him for smooth running of our government.
“However, I have no doubt that our candidates will win all the 26 assembly seats across our constituencies, because of the good work this government has been doing.”
Afuye commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), saying that the professionalism displayed by the electoral body and Security forces, had also positively rebranded the country’s electoral system.
An APC House of Assembly candidate in Oye Constituency, Mr Tope Longe, described the electoral process as awesome and peaceful but decried the low turnout of voters for the election.
Longe said many eligible voters seemed not to be interested in the election, compared to the Presidential and National Assembly polls.
Meanwhile as voting was ongoing, the Ekiti Resident Electoral Commissioner( REC) Prof Ayobami Salami, who also confirmed low turnout of voters, assured that votes of those that came out to exercise their franchise would count.
Salami who gave the assurance while monitoring the exercise in some parts of the State, noted that the issue of over voting, as raised during the last Presidential and National Assembly elections, would not come up in the state assembly election.
He said though the state was not conducting governorship election like other states, the issue of over voting, which allegedly occurred during the presidential and National Assembly elections was still fresh in memory.
The REC described the poll as generally peaceful and orderly, as security personnel were on ground to ensure peaceful conduct.