By DAUD OLATUNJI
…Low turn out mars election
One of the first class Obas in Ogun State, the Akarigbo of Remo, Oba Micheal Adeniyi Sonarinwo, and his six family members were part of the hundreds of the people that were disenfranchised during yesterday’s election into the 20 local government areas and 236 wards in the state.
The election, characterized by low voter turn-out, was marred by irregularities and pockets of violence as well as ballot snatching and alleged killings. It was boycotted by some of the members of the National Assembly (both Senate and House of Representatives) from the state.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who, though did not show up for the election, had his name missing from the voters’ register at his ward in Abeokuta.
At Ward 11, Unit 15 where Obasanjo was supposed to cast his vote, the presiding officer, who pleaded for anonymity, told Sunday Vanguard that, the former president’s name could not be found on the voters registers, He however directed the reporter to check at Unit 16.
An attempt to locate Obasanjo’s name on the voters’ register at Unit 16 hit the brick wall as the Presiding Officer, Kolawole Oyetola, confirmed that the former president’s name was not amongst those on the register in his possession.
The monarch, who was disenfranchised, was said to have arrived the polling centre at 9 am with his wives and other members of his family but could not be accredited , following the failure of the electoral officers at ward 2,Ita-Oba Sagamu in Owonifari street in Sagamu local government to provide the voters’ register.
The electoral officers were said to have been chased away when they reportedly asked the electorate and the Oba to write their names on an exercise book in lieu of the voters’ register.
Leading the protest, both the agent of the Peoples Democratic Party and Peoples Party of Nigeria PPN, Kayode Ibrahim and Solomon Olumide respectively, acused the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission,OGSIEC,of planning to rig the election in favour of the Action Congress of Nigeria,A C N.
The atmosphere was tense as the aggrieved disenfranchised electorate trooped to the streets and chased the A C N agent for the ward away .
A team of soldiers,:ho came in a commercial bus marked Lagos XP 207 KSF was rafted to the place which restored law and order,while the convoy of the state police commissioner was also seen patrolling the area at 11;15.a.m.
There were reported cases of ballot snatching at Isara-Remo in Remo North local government area while two people were said to have lost their lives in Sabo ward in Sagamu local government area.
Governor Ibikunle Amosun of the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria and the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party, traded words over alleged massive rigging of the poll in many parts of the state.
The governor, who acknowleged the low turn out, said ,that 25 per cent voters that came out to vote should not be regarded as too small.