Abeokuta – Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun have adjudged the presidential and the National Assembly polls in the state as smooth and orderly.
Obasanjo and Amosun in separate interviews with newsmen shortly after they voted, however, identified little challenges in the voting process.
The former president, who voted at Ward 2, Unit 22 Polling Unit at Olusomi compound at Totoro area of Abeokuta- North council area at about 11.15.a.m, described the voting process as smooth.
He also expressed satisfaction with what he described as ” an impressive turnout” by the electorate.
” I am here to perform my civic duty where I was born and the polling officers have made me to go through the process of voting.
“They gave me the ballot papers for the Presidential , Senate and the House of Representatives polls and it was very smooth and peaceful,” he said
Obasanjo, however, noted that the voting process was delayed by about two hours, saying that “it can still be accommodated.
” I went through the process . They put my PVC in the card reader and then they had a bit of problems sorting my thumb print but they later sorted it,” he said.
Obasanjo who urged eventual winners of the polls to be magnanimous , advised losers to bow out graciously.
“In any competition, there will always be winners and losers and this is the essence of a competition.
” If your purpose of going to a competition is that you must win at all cost ,then that is no longer a competition ,” he said.
Amosun, who also voted at Ward 6, Unit 8 Polling Centre at Itoko in Abeokuta-South Council area at about 12.p.m, also described the process as orderly.
“By and large, we can say that the elections are going on well and peacefully.
“We pray that at the end of the day, it will be like this throughout Ogun State and Nigeria, because so far, so good, it’s peaceful,” he said.
Amosun, however, described the process as tasking because of the manual authentication that the polling officers had to resort to because of the malfunctioning of the card readers.
“I’ll not say it is cumbersome but it’s truly tasking, seeing the polling officers signing all the three papers, it has not been easy.
“Even our elderly ones, when they stay for one or two hours on the queue, they get tired. But we’ll ensure that everybody votes,” he said.
The governor also noted the challenge of insufficient ballot papers at his polling centre.
“This is another crisis that I think we have here in this ward, there are about 390 registered voters but we have only 300 ballot papers.
“They still need to bring more ballot papers and they have been notified and we hope they will bring more before the elections end.
“It will not be fair for people after labouring this hard that they should be disenfranchised.
” Everybody must be in the position to exercise his or her franchise. They should increase the number of ballot papers.
” I know there is room for improvement for everything.
“Yes, the card reader took some time to function and in some cases did not function properly, but I think it is a process and I believe we’ll overcome it,” he said. (NAN)