The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won all the 16 local government chairmanship and 177 Councillorship seats in the local polls conducted in Ekiti State yesterday.
This is even as the polls recorded low turnout of voters across the 16 local government areas of state.
Only agents of the Peoples Democratic Party were sighted in most of the 2,195 polling units across 177 wards in the state, raising questions over the claims by the State Independent Electoral Commission that five political parties were participating in the polls.
Only the electoral officials, security officers and agents of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were present at all the polling units when they opened for voting at the election.
The presence of only PDP agents at the election was contrary to the claim of Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission (EKSIEC) said that five parties participated in the election.
The five parties on the ballot were PDP, United Progressives Party (UPP), KOWA, African Peoples Alliance (APA) and Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN).
In Ado, the state capital, Ikere, Ikole, Otun, Ido, Ifaki, Omuo, Ise, Igede, Aramoko, Okemesi, Ayetoro, Iworoko, Iyin, Efon and Ilawe, voter apathy was apparent with residents staying indoors while others were seen drinking at beer joints .
Some presiding officers confirmed the low turnout of the electorate at their units with the polling officials and security agents idle.
The directive of EKSIEC that voting should commence at 1.00 pm after accreditation, expected to have taken place between 8.00 am and 12 noon was violated in many polling stations in the state capital where voting had commenced as early as 10.00 a m
The state governor, Ayodele Fayose, had reviewed the restriction order from 4pm to 2pm, to allow businessmen and women to do some commercial activities in preparation for the Christmas celebration.
Voters were allowed to do accreditation and voting simultaneously, although SIEC Chairman, Kayode Bamisile, condemned the practice.
To underscore the low turnout, as at 11.20am on the election day, when reporters visited some of the units in Ado-Ekiti, only 16 voters had been accredited and voted out of the 626 registered voters at ward 05 unit 016 Oke Iyinmi, while only 20 of 1,250 registered voters were accredited and voted at unit 008 ward 9.
In his reaction, Fayose, described the polls as very free, fair and credible, while also lauding the voters for turning out “massively” to cast their votes.
“The information we are getting have been impressive. The turnout was impressive. In some places, the turnout were very impressive, while people came out late in some areas. But the turnout has been impressive,” he said.
“I have been contacting those on the field what we are getting were quite impressive and I commend our people for that.”
SIEC Chairman on his part, noted that all the participating parties wrote to SIEC of their intention to provide party agents, saying the commission was not responsible for the absence of agents of other parties at the polling units.
Bamisile absolved his agency from blame over early voting recorded in many parts of Ado and absence of agents of the four other political parties cleared to participate at the poll.
Speaking on the poor turnout, Bamisile said: “It is very easy to take the horse to the river but you cannot force the horse to drink water”.
The APC has however commended the people of the state for boycotting the elections, saying “the people behaved honourably for staying away from the election boycotted by all
political parties except the PDP.”.
The Publicity Secretary of the party, Taiwo Olatunbosun, in a statement, said the widespread apathy across the state was an evidence that Ekiti people had rejected Mr. Fayose and his PDP.
He said across the state, Ekiti people spoke with one voice by staying in their homes and watching from distance as PDP members engaged in multiple thumb-printing to give the impression that there was massive turnout of voters.
“To cover their shame in most of the empty polling units, PDP members and Fayose’s political appointees engaged in multiple thumb-printing to give a false impression of a large turnout of voters,” he said