The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have exchanged insults over the credibility otherwise of the local government council elections conducted in Ekiti state on Saturday.
Whereas the PDP has alleged that the exercise was riddled with violence, the ruling said it was largely peaceful.
However, Blueprint observed that the election conducted by the Ekiti’ state government was married by low turnout of voters and violence in Ikere local government of the state.
In Ado Ekiti metropolis, the commercial motorcyclists popularly called Okada riders were seen plying major roads, while traders opened their shops to make money despite the restriction order announced by the police between 8am and 2pm.
But in Ikere Ekiti, the the election, which was to elect the 16 local government chairmen and 177 councilors had started peaceful but was latter marred by violence, as one person was killed and many people injured at a polling unit.
To avert disruption of the election by party thugs, the police commissioner, Mr Asuquo Amba, deployed his men to all the 2,195 polling units across the state, warning potential trouble makers during the election.
Trouble started at Okitiko area along ISe/Emure road in Ikere -Ekiti, when some political thugs tried to snatch the ballot boxes from the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) officials. These officials and prospective voters had take to their heels at the sound of gun shooting.
An interview with the APC chairmanship candidate, Mr Ayodele Oluwafemi, said he was unaware of the incident, saying that the exercise was peaceful at his polling unit and within his area of the town.
The APC state chairman, Mr Paul Omotoso, who voted Imesi Ekiti in Gbonyin local government commended the peaceful nature of the poll, praising Fayemi for setting a pace on how best to conduct a credible poll.
The Information Commissioner, Mr Muyiwa Olumilua, who voted at Community Pilot School, polling unit 006, Oke Osun ward in Ikere, praised the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) for the smooth conduct of the election.
While voting at Ward 2, unit 008, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Development Partnership, Mrs Margaret Fagboyo, hinged the low turnout as a confirmation that the PDP has been weakened in the state.
Reacting, the PDP chairman in Ekiti, Barr Gboyega Oguntuase said: “From what we heard all over, the election is riddled with violence, obviously as expected in an APC state. It is not fair, as I speak with you, it is believed that they have shot one person dead as one or two persons received gun shots.
“In Ikole local government, the number of boxes that were to go to Ijesa Isu, Odo Oro, ward 4 in Ikole, all of them were reduced. Where the boxes were, nobody could account for them. That is a clear case of ballot stuffing. In ise Orun, very early in the morning, they unleashed terror on PDP people, seized all the ballot boxes from the units. The same thing applies to Emure and Ekiti East”
“We told them that we might not have a free and fair election with the calibre of people they put at SIEC and with the nature of APC. See what they did in kogi and Bayelsa states, for instance. They cannot tolerate true democracy”.