2023 elections

March 18, 2023

Polls: Abiodun, Amosun commend INEC

….as the exercise witness pocket of violence in some areas

By James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta

The governorship and State Assembly elections in Ogun State began on a peaceful note, with electoral officials and materials arriving at various polling units across the state.

There was heavy presence of security operatives in all polling units and around towns and communities visited by our Correspondent and turnout of voters was impressive.

Speaking after casting their votes at their different polling units, the State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, who is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), his People’s Democratic Party counterpart, Ladi Adebutu, African Democratic Congress, Biyi Otegbeye, as well as former Governor of the State, Ibikunle Amosun, and the Senator-elect for Ogun West Senatorial District, Solomon Adeola, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the conduct of the election.

Meanwhile, there were pockets of violence during the poll.

In Sapon area of Abeokuta, in Abeokuta local government area of the State, no fewer than four persons were arrested with a pistol and knife on their way to polling units by operatives of Nigerian Army.

A soldier at a road block in Sapon, Abeokuta while briefing newsmen confirmed that “four persons have been arrested with dangerous weapons, which included a gun and a knife .

He said ” when you see soldiers being hard on anyone, he is not just punishing anyone .

“We arrested four people with gun and knife. What are they doing with the gun and knife at the polling unit?”

“I ask you, can you tell me what a voter wants to do with a gun and a knife” .

” If they escape from police , they cannot escape from soldiers, we will catch them.”

At Eggua, polling unit 24, in Egbado North local government area of the State, there were few political skirmishes as political thugs were seen harassing voters, but security personnel were drafted to the scene to douse the tension.

A voter, Hon Anthony Oludokun described the situation as unfortunate

In a related development,
political thugs disrupted electoral process in Ward 13, Polling Unit 22, Itori Odo in Abeokuta South local government area.

Journalists and electoral officers who were subject of the attackers had to scamper for safety.

An armless NSCDC officer attempted rescuing the two ballot boxes, but was overpowered by the thugs who snatched the boxes and destroyed it immediately.

The trouble started when an agent of the All Progressive Congress (APC) agent challenged journalists for taken pictures at the unit.

One of them said, they had instructions not to allow anybody take pictures or record videos at the unit.

All efforts to convince the agent fell on deaf ears.

One of the thugs identified simply as Taiwo, attacked the agent of the Action Democratic Congress, ADC, who also tried to intervene.

Taiwo poured dry gin on the face of the ADC agent, before other thugs surfaced from different corners with axes and attacked the INEC officials and materials.

Reports from Iperu in Ikenne local government area of the State, indicated that there were
sporadic as hoodlums suspected to be political thugs snatched away two ballot boxes at Polling Unit 05, Ward 03 in Ayegbami area of the town.

The hoodlums, whose number could not be ascertained, invaded the polling unit on motorcycles and started shooting into the air with the aim of chasing away voters.

They however, succeeded at escaping with one of the ballot boxes, before security operatives at the nearby road intersection responded with corresponding gun shots to the scene while the Assistant Polling Officer (APO) for the unit, Alalade Babatunde was beaten up.

The development however, resulted in chaos, forcing many electorates…