The Osun State Independent Electoral Commission, on Saturday, conducted local government election in the state 10 years after a similar exercise was held.
The main opposition party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party, boycotted the poll but the Labour Party, the Accord Party and three other parties contested against the candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress in some of the wards.
The election was marred by violence at some polling units in Ile Ife where the candidates of the Accord Party gave those of the ruling APC a serious contest.
The presence of policemen and other security operatives in the town prevented the situation from degenerating.
The election was held in 71 out of the 389 wards in the state. There was no voting in the remaining wards because the candidates of the ruling APC were returned unopposed in accordance with the provisions of Section 41 of the Electoral Act ( 2011) as amended.
The Chairman of the OSIEC, Chief Segun Oladitan, expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the election.
The Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, and the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Adelani Baderinwa, also hailed the conduct of the election, describing it as peaceful and transparent.
Oyetola, who spoke with our correspondent when the exercise was ongoing, said, “The election is peaceful here in Iragbiji and the reports from other areas suggest the same. The turnout was impressive because people came out to vote in wards where election was conducted.”
However, the Chairman of the Accord Party, Mr. Olusegun Fanibe, described the election as a fraud allegedly perpetrated by the APC.
Fanibe said, “In Ife East LGA, Ilode Ward 1 b, there was heavy shooting as APC thugs carted away electoral materials. In Ilode 2, Olokose, there was shooting by APC thugs before the timely intervention of the operatives of the Department of State Service, who arrested three of the hoodlums.
“I was physically attacked by some APC-sponsored thugs wielding axes and locally made pistols. Some of them were arrested by the police. You cannot call this sham, an election. It is a fraud and nothing more.”
But Senator Babajide Omoworare refuted the allegations of the AP chairman, saying the violence in the Iremo area was not perpetrated by APC supporters because they could not have disrupted the exercise where the party was popular.
He alleged that the disruption was done by “AP hoodlums,” claiming that they knew that they would suffer a humiliating defeat in the ward.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Fimihan Adeoye, when contacted on the telephone, told our correspondent that the exercise was generally peaceful.
Asked how many people were arrested, especially in Ile Ife, the CP said he was expecting briefing from his officers as of the time of filing this report.
– Punch Newspaper