From Kolade Larewaju, Abeokuta
DAUGHTER of former President Olusegun Obasanjo; Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello may have dumped President Goodluck Jonathan as she, Saturday, shunned the Presidential Election staying away from voting at the polls.
Unlike the Speaker of the House of Representatives; Mr. Dimeji Bankole who also lost in the National Assembly elections and turned up yesterday to cast his vote, Senator Obasanjo-Bello was conspicuously absent at her voting centre, African Church Grammar Scholl, Ita-Eko where her father also voted.
Turn out of voters was initially low but later picked up while there were really no serious report of any shortage of materials while
security was very tight across the state with armed solders and policemen in virtually everywhere.
Former President Obasanjo, who spoke with newsmen after casting his vote at about 12.30 PM congratulated Nigerians on the successful conduct of the presidential election adding that the election would further consolidate the country’s democracy and move it further towards the path of growth and development.
He said “I believe that to all of us in Nigeria and Nigerians; today (Saturday) is a day of victory because once we have an election, and
we go about it in a peaceful way. It is victory for all Nigerians and of course, for the party that its candidate wins, it is double victory
for such a party,’’ he said.
Obasanjo, while assessing the general conduct of the election said it was peaceful and orderly saying “so far so good, I will say. From what I have heard, from what I have watched on television and heard on radio, and from my discussion with some within and outside Ogun, I think it is generally peaceful and orderly.
“The low turnout that has been reported in some areas; that normally should not be of great concern because the turnout for presidential election, except where there is a bit of excitement for candidates. So I think what I have seen today is not a thing out of ordinary. I do hope that every election in a way moves us towards consolidating our democracy. As a result of this election, at the end of the day, it will move us forward towards consolidating our democracy.
“My election in 1999 moved us in one direction. It put paid to what I will call ethnic politics in Nigeria and I hope that this one too will put paid to whatever may be the monster that is trying to rear its ugly head in another area”.
Former Governor Olusegun Osoba in his own comment on the low turn out immediately after he was accredited said “It is dangerously and terribly poor. It is unfortunate that rather than coming out to express their grievances in the way the country is being run, people are despondent. It shows that the government in power does not have
the support of the masses.
“We are having difficulty in convincing the people to help the government in moving the country forward. I can
assure you it will not repeat itself during the next election. I will hit the road as from tomorrow until Easter Monday to start mobilizing people from house to house.
Action Congress of Nigeria [ACN] candidate for the Governorship election Senator Ibikunle Amosun in his own reaction said “what I noticed since morning is that the turnout was not very impressive. Surprisingly after some few hours, we discovered that even those that are voting today are slightly even more. But I can assure you that come next Tuesday; we will see a more impressive turnout. But we have to congratulate INEC really and the law enforcement. So far so good, there is a slight improvement from that of last week.
“People erroneously and wrongfully believe that the presidential election does not directly affect them, which is wrong. And we’ve been running out to let them know that the presidential election is even far more important than the gubernatorial election. But if you look at it from their perspective, they believe that governor is more with them”