Money, violence, intimidation taint Ekiti poll; Fayose knocks police
Trading of votes for cash, violence and intimidation highlighted the Ekiti State governorship election as results in some polling units were already tallied. In all the polling units monitored by our correspondent the race was clearly between the PDP and APC with PDP having a slight edge in most cases. Votes were sold for N10,000, N5,000 and N3,500 in some units.
Some politicians were harassed by uniformed personnel whom suspected to be fake policemen. A PDP chieftain, Dr. Samuel Omotoso, was seen being whisked away by some uniformed persons at the Oroje area where his unit was located.
Cases of ballot snatching were also recorded in a few units. What defined the Ekiti poll is an unusually high voter turnout which is an indication of the interest in the Ekiti people to decide who governs them.
Meanwhile, Gov. Ayo Fayose of Ekiti has alleged that the election was largely compromised by personnel of the Nigerian police.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor, who addressed newsmen shortly after casting his vote at about 1.20 p.m. at his Polling Unit 001 in Afao-Ekiti, alleged that policemen aided and abetted the distribution of money to induce voters.
He, however, admitted that voters turned out massively and conducted themselves in a peaceful manner.
The governor accused policemen of supervising ballot snatching as well as providing cover for those reported to be engaged in illegal sharing of money on election day.
According to him, all attempts to personally report the alleged cases to the police authorities were rebuffed.
“I want to state expressly that the police have hijacked the whole process; INEC might mean well but the process was tampered with by the police.
“As I speak, thugs are having a field day snatching ballot boxes under police watch; this is a national disgrace.
“There were cases of not only ballot snatching, but ballot cleansing and clearing, even as the police and other officers cooperated by looking the other way,’’ he said.
But, one of the three Police Commissioners deployed in the area to monitor the election, Mr Ali Janga, dismissed the allegations as untrue.
He commended Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the electorate for the peaceful conduct of the exercise.
Janga said most of the allegations raised by politicians were promptly investigated and were found to be false.
“I have visited some of the local governments and there was no electoral manipulation anywhere as being claimed.
“People just raise false alarm by sending distress calls to us, but many of them were found to be false when we got there.
“Election materials were distributed as early as possible and they were guarded by security men and the turnout was very impressive,’’ he said.