Hoodlums Disrupt Governorship Election in Osun State, Causing Chaos and Low Turnout
According to reports, political hoodlums caused chaos in several towns in Osun State during the governorship election. The disruption began early on Saturday morning when hoodlums invaded polling units across the state, disrupting the voting process and snatching ballot boxes.
At Isedo Ward 2 polling 5 unit, a person named Ganiyu Gele was shot and killed by the hoodlums over an argument about the placement of the ballot. The Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Kehinde Adeleke, confirmed that Gele was hit by a bullet shot by the hoodlums after an argument that a vote that was not properly cast should be counted for a political party. Adeleke added that one person has been arrested in connection with the incident.
Elsewhere in the state, officials from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security operatives arrived at their work stations early, paving the way for the early commencement of voting at 8:30 am amidst a low turnout of voters. However, hoodlums disrupted the voting process in several areas, including Osogbo, Olorunda, Ife-Central, Ife-East, Ilesa-West, Ilesa-East, and Atakumosa-East Local Government Areas.
At Ataoja Ward 5 in Osogbo Local Government, hoodlums in an unregistered Toyota Sienna vehicle invaded polling units 10 and 11, disrupting the process. They left in a hurry without taking the ballot boxes, only to return later after voting had resumed at the two units and eventually dispersed voters by shooting sporadically into the air before carting away the ballot boxes at units 10 and 11, as well as ward 4, units 17 and 32.
Similarly, in Ife-Central Local Government, hoodlums invaded Iremo Ojatuntun Ward 3 unit 18 and destroyed both the used and unused ballot papers and the box. According to Victoria Eluyeni, one of the voters, the hoodlums invaded the unit on a motorcycle and insisted that the voters must vote for Esho or leave the unit. She stated that the hoodlums had been parading the units since voting started and suddenly around 1:20 pm on a motorcycle and smashed the ballot box and destroyed the ballot papers.
According to Senator Babajide Omoworare, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters (Senate), PDP thugs were going round the local government disrupting the election and snatching ballot boxes. However, he quickly added that the security situation is better than the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The spokesperson for Tinubu-Shettima Campaign Organization in Osun, Remi Omowaiye, alleged that the PDP thugs had been going round threatening electorates to steer clear of polling units except they wanted to vote for PDP candidates. “Until the security operatives intervened and set up barricades in many communities, the electorates did not start trooping out to discharge their civic duty. But the situation is difficult in Atakumosa-East Local Government as our party members were not allowed to vote,” he said.
The State Deputy Governor, Kola Adewusi, while speaking after voting at his Enuwa polling unit in Ile-Ife, said the APC thugs were disrupting voting at PDP’s strong units with a view to putting the party at a disadvantage.
In all of the local government areas visited, the turnout was low compared to the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections, which Senator Francis Fadahunsi attributed to a lack of proper enlightenment among the populace.
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