Low turnout of voters was recorded at most polling units in Osun, Ekiti and Ondo States during the House of Assembly election in the states.
Supreme reports that governorship elections in the three states are off season due to litigations that followed previous elect ions that overturned the verdicts of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Correspondents of NAN who monitored the election in the states report that even though officials of INEC arrived at polling units as early as 7.30a.m., voter turnout was abysmally low unlike during the Presidential and National Assembly elections on Feb. 25.
In Akure and environs, at 8.30a.m., officials of the commission, the police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were seen at various polling units with just scores of voters in line waiting to be accredited and to cast their votes.
At Polling Unit 9 Ward 2, Cathedral Area, Akure South Local Government Area, Mr Femi Falade, the INEC Presiding Officer, said that since his arrival, he had been waiting for voters to arrive to cast their votes, but was yet to see anyone at 8.30a.m.
He said that the BVAS machine was working well while other materials including ballot papers stamp pads etc were available while at Ward 2 Unit 10, Sacred Heart Primary School, Akure, voting started at 8.39a.m.
Mr Sunday Adeyeye, a resident in area, said that BVAS machine was fast thus the voting process was very smooth and commended the officials for their timeliness and comportment.
Also at Poling Unit 2 Ward 2 in Igbara-Oke, Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State, the Polling Officer, Mr Fredrick Saliu, said that everything was set for the exercise and it was observed that some voters were already on line waiting to be accredited and to cast their votes.
At Ward 10 Unit 11, St. Louis Primary School, Isarun, Ifedore Local Government Area, the Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Mr Bamidele Oleyelogun, cast his vote at 8.50a.m.
Oleyelogun described the voter turnout as unsatisfactory, but expressed the hope that with time many more people would come out to vote.
Also, Mrs Bisi Dele, an octogenarian, said that she came out to cast her vote for the peace and sanity of the polity.
In Ward 1 Polling Units 16, 17, 28 in Okitipupa, very few voters turned out to exercise their franchise while in Owo Local Government of the State there was minimal presence of security men in sight while on the Uso-Owo highway, heavy duty trucks were moving without any hindrance even though personnel of the Nigerian Army had a road block on the highway.
At Ward 8 Unit 4, Methodist Primary School, Isaipe, Owo, 100 voters were seen on the queue waiting to cast their votes at 8.40a.m.
Also in Ekiti, NAN observed that security was relaxed when compared to the Presidential and National Assembly elections while voter apathy was also recorded in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, and other major towns.
However, the case was different at the polling units visited in Ikogosi-Ekiti, the country home of Gov. Biodun Oyebanji, as residents of the community turned out in large numbers to participate in the house of assembly election.
Also in Ikere-Ekiti, where the Deputy Governor, Mrs Monisade Afuye, hails from, the same was the case as there was large turnout of voters unlike in some other parts of the state.
In Osun, most polling units visited in Osogbo and Ede, had officials and election materials already on ground as at 7.00a.m, with the presence of security operatives.
At Ward 4, Unit 13, Ataoja D Area in Osogbo, Onike Oladujoye, the Presiding Officer told NAN that all the necessary logistics were already in place.
One of the voters, Saheed Alagbe, a retiree, who claimed to have arrived at the polling unit by 6:30am, commended the INEC staff for arriving on time.
Alagbe said he came early to vote because of his interest in the election, adding that he was hopeful that his candidate would win.
Another electorate, Mrs Bosede Oni, also said that she came early because she wanted the best for the state and her desire for good governance.
“What I expect at the end of the exercise is free and fair election, and I pray that my candidate wins,” she said.
Also at Ward 4, Unit 14, Osogbo, the INEC Presiding Officer, Mr John Alfred, said the officials arrived at the polling unit at 6.00am and were ready to commence the voting process at exact time stipulated in the guideline.
One of the electorate, Taiwo Osunlana, said he arrived 6:45am, adding that he met the INEC staff on ground.
Also in Ede town, the country home of Gov. Ademola Adeleke, the electorate were seen trooping to their various polling units as early as 6.30 a.m.
At Ward 2,Unit 9, Ede, where the governor is expected to cast his vote, the Presiding Officer, Miss Chioma Edwin, said officials arrived at the polling unit at about 6:55a.m.
NAN reports that soldiers were also noticed at strategic locations in Osogbo and Ede, who mounted road blocks, while officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were seen at some of the polling units.