One killed as Ekiti council polls record low turnout

Violence erupted at a polling unit at Okitiko area along Ikere Ekiti during the Ekiti State Local Government Elections on Saturday leaving a yet to be identified man dead and about four persons injured following gunshots.

Sources said the trouble started when a group of hoodlums, who invaded the polling unit with the intention to snatch the ballot boxes from the officials of the State Independent Electoral Commission, were resisted.

According to the sources, the gunshots from the invading hoodlums forced electoral officers and others to flee for their lives.

The source, who said a man among those rushed to an undisclosed hospital following gunshot injuries during the incident was feared dead.

Other sources in the area confirmed that the person died before arriving at the hospital.

However, the Police Public Relations Officer for Ekiti State Command, Sunday Abutu, said he had not been briefed on the development at Ikere Ekiti.

The election witnessed a low turn out in all parts of the state.

Electoral officers arrived their units in Ado Ekiti, Ilawe Ekiti, and Ikere Ekiti among others on time and waited for the voters to come to cast their votes. The election was largely peaceful.

To ensure a violent-free election, the Police Commissioner, Mr Asuquo Amba, deployed his men to all the 2,195 polling units across the state.

The Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Funminiyi Afuye, who voted at St John’s Primary School, Ikere Ekiti, described the election as peaceful and devoid of actions that could truncate a free and fair outcome.

He said, “Though the turnout is a little bit low, it is peaceful. The reason could not have been unconnected with the impression by the People’s Democratic Party that the All Progressives Congress will win all the seats but Governor Kayode Fayemi believes in democracy and allows a free and fair process.”

The Information Commissioner, Mr Muyiwa Olumilua, who voted at Community Pilot School, Polling Unit 006, Oke Osun Ward in Ikere Ekiti, praised the SIEC for the smooth conduct of the election.

But the PDP State Chairman, Chief Gboyega Oguntuwase, said the opposition party would not accept the results of the council polls, which he alleged was marred with irregularities and ballot stuffing.

Oguntuwase said, “From what we hear all over, the election is riddled with violence. As I speak with you, it is believed that they have shot one person dead as one or two persons received gunshots.”

The PDP chairman, who said his party had earlier warned the SIEC on the repercussion of an election that was not free and fair, said, his party would make consultations with leaders “and we will take the necessary step”.

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