July 24, (THEWILL) – The Saturday local government elections in Ogun State were largely characterised by low turnout of voters and logistic challenges at the early stage of the exercise in most council areas.
THEWILL reports that the elections scheduled to hold between 8 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. did not start until 11.00 a.m. in most of the polling centres.
As at 10.00 a.m., the polling units at Itoku and Kobiti areas in Abeokuta South Local Government Area, as well as Ewekero and Mowe areas in Obafemi-Owode Local Government, were virtually empty.
Some electoral officials were, however, on ground as early as possible in some of the polling units at Obantoko and Federal College of Education, Osiele, in Odeda Local Government Area with the election materials.
The officials, sitting idle, waited for voters who came out in trickles.
There was also low turnout of voters at the Ado-Odo/Ota and Ikenne council areas.
Commenting on the development, an Election Observer, Abdullahi Jabi, told newsmen that the exercise was peaceful and orderly in many of the polling booths.
He said the exercise was characterised by low turnout as there seemed to be voter apathy.
He said: “For the areas we have covered so far, it has been peaceful, but there has been clear evidence of apathy.
“You can imagine that in a particular unit of almost 800 registered voters, only about 10 people turned out for voting, as at almost noon.
“People are generally losing interest in the council polls and if the situation is not addressed quickly, it will extend into the general elections.”
Although generally peaceful, there was however a minimal presence of security officials, including the Amotekun corps, in all the polling units.
The restriction order on movement was strictly enforced in most of the local government areas.
But at Ikenne Local Government, residents violated the restriction order in the town as they were going about their normal businesses, while vehicles were moving about unhindered in many parts of the town.