Although it was not certain who exactly those the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Ondo Election, DIG Okoye said have been arrested in an interview he had with channels news, but the Peoples Democratic Party Candidate, Eyitayo Jegede has called on security agents and the media to expose some observers, whom he allegedly helped some candidates to induce voters at the polling centres across the state.
The PDP Candidate made this observation after casting his vote at the sacred heart Primary school, ward 4, unit 10, Akure south local government.
While explaining that some observers watched people as they voted and from where they stood, gave signals to those that are to pay for the votes, he urged the media and security men to be vigilant and expose business brokers, who disguised as election observers while helping candidates to induce voters.
The senior Advocate of Nigeria also accuse INEC of creating Problems and failing to resolve the perennial card reader stoppage, expressed optimism that he would emerge victorious despite the odds.
His word: “The machine stopped working when it was my turn to vote. I had to protest and they said the problem had been rectified. But despite all these hitches, there has not been a major disruption even though I don’t know what is happening in remote areas.
“The turnout has been massive, voters conducted themselves well. I am aware that there have been pockets of violence in Ijomu area. I have also heard of incidents of vote-buying. In Owo, for instance, a former commissioner led thugs to attack one Sadiq Obanoyen and injured him in a patrol vehicle. These are incidences of violence … But by the grace of God, we will still win.
“By and large, I plead with the INEC to improve on its performance. Their performance in Edo was very good. Here at this unit, the voters peacefully conducted themselves. Unfortunately, it is INEC that is creating a problem for voters. But I hope things will be okay. I expect to win; I expect victory.”
Corrobating Jegede’s claim, the Commissioner of Police in charge of Owo and Ose local councils, Mr. Abutu Yaro, yesterday, said that many people were arrested for electoral offences, including voters’ inducement.
According to Yaro, one of the suspects was arrested for inducing voters at Unit 15 Ward 4, Shagari Market along the Owo-Benin Highway. Eyewitnesses also alleged that the suspect was trying to snatch a ballot box when voters mobbed him.
The suspect, who was stripped half-naked by locals, however, denied the allegation, claiming that he was an election observer even though he refused to give his name and the group he was working for.
While protesting his arrest, he said the police should have also arrested those whom he said were buying votes, alleging that the mob attacked him after he called the attention of the police to vote-buying.
But Yaro said: “We rescued him from the people, who wanted to lynch him. They said he came to buy votes, and when he was caught, he threw the money at the people.”
The Incumbent Governor, Arakurin Akeredolu, the APC Flag bearer in Ondo Gubernatorial voting at Unit 06, Ward 02, Ijebu-Owo, in Owo, Headquarters of Owo Local Council, at exactly 9.40, while engaging journalists, he expresses confidence that he would carry the day, even as he appealed to the electorate to monitor their votes and ensure that their votes count.
“I’m sure my God will give me victory at the end of the day. I put my trust in God and I’m sure He won’t let me down. My confidence is not in any man, but in God,” the APC candidate stated, adding that, “from the information that I’ve received, the election is going on smoothly. We have just started and the election has been peaceful so far.”
He urged his supporters to remain peaceful throughout the period of the exercise and beyond.
While his deputy and ZLP candidate, Ajayi hailed the massive turnout of voters, declaring it as impressive.
Ajayi while voting at Apoi Ward 4, Unit 2, in Kiribo, Ese-Odo Local Council, said the turnout was “very encouraging.”
He alleged that the security arrangement for the poll may have been “a bit compromised. “It was exactly what happened in Edo State”. “We want to appeal to security agents to live up to expectations, and continue to be neutral to ensure that every Nigerian’s vote counts.
“I just received a call that a senior militant in this country, Chief Ajube, who is not at all a member of this community laid siege somewhere, telling the people to vote for APC and security men are there watching him.
“I hereby call on the IGP to direct his men to do justice, this is injustice and barbaric, they should allow people to cast their vote freely because people are ready to vote freely.”
And despite being a wet Saturday morning in parts of the state, hundreds of thousands of residents went out to cast their ballots for their preferred candidates among the 17 listed, 16 of which are male.
In Ondo East, and other locations, officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) addressed the electorate in vernacular, where they preached the need for them to mask up, sanitise their hands, maintain social distancing and observe other COVID-19 protocols
Meanwhile, as at press time, there was mild jubilation in Akeredolu’s camp with his supporters claiming that he was cruising to victory.