The local government and councillorship election in Ekiti State has recorded low turnout of voters across the 2,196 polling units in the state.
Our reporter who visited many polling units in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, Ikogosi-Ekiti, Ikere, Igbara Odo observed that the electorate stayed away from the poll largely adjudged violent-free.
Voting began in some polling units around 8:30 with the security agencies on guard to provide adequate security for the Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission ad hoc staff.
The restriction between 8am and 2pm announced by the state government and the police was largely ineffective as motorists and motorcyclists were seen moving around Ado Ekiti city and other towns.
At the popular Oja Oba, Oja Irona and Oja Enu Odi markets in Ado Ekiti, traders were seen doing their businesses unhindered while the commercial motorcyclists were seen doing skeletal works across the capital city.
Some shops and filling stations in the capital city and other towns were also opened for business activities as the polls lasted.
Oyebanji praised the voters for coming out to exercise their franchise rights and for their peaceful dispositions.
Speaking while monitoring the polls, the Chairman, House of Assembly Committee on the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC), Hon. Toyin Lucas, said the low turnout of voters didn’t vitiate the outcome as long as the process remains peaceful and credible.
He also ascribed the free movements of human and vehicles to the ongoing November National Examinations Council(NECO) being undertaken by some candidates, saying such people can’t be restricted, since it is being held across the nation .
“We have low turnout in the morning and you could all see that the process is improving. People are coming out gradually to vote. The process has been peaceful without any rancour or crisis despite that six political parties are contesting these elections. The party agents are on ground without molestation.
“The people that are moving around are those with genuine reasons. Some students are writing NECO examinations and those on essential duties as well as those who are going to far distance to cast their votes are allowed to move freely despite the restriction”.
Lucas added that the elections are of utmost importance to the people, because the local governments are the closest to the grassroots coupled with the enthusiasm that accompanies the creation of new Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) by the APC-led government.