The residents of Iragbiji in Boripe Local Government area of Osun and Ede in Osun, trooped out in large numbers as early 6.30 a.m, eagering to cast their votes amidst tight security in the Saturday governorship election.
Iragbiji is the home town of Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola, who is seeking reelection on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), while Ede is the home town of his main opposition, Sen. Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 2022 Osun governorship election, according to INEC, is taking place in all the 30 local government areas of the state with 3, 763 polling units and 332 registration areas.
The 15 political parties’ candidates are participating in Osun governorship election including: Mr Oyegoke Omigbodun, Social Democratic Party (SDP); Dr Akin Ogunbiyi (Accord); Mr Yusuf Lasun (Labour Party); Munirudeen Atanda (Action Democratic Party) and Busuyi Ayowole of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).
NAN Correspondents, who are monitoring the election, report that at Iragbiji, voters were seen in large numbers at their polling units, as early as 7.00 a.m, waiting for the arrival of ad hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to commence accreditation and voting.
NAN reports that at Polling Unit 2 Ward 2, Iragbiji Town Hall, the voters were already stationed at the unit in readiness to cast their vote.
Also, at about 7.30 a.m, voters were seen at Polling Units 7, Opposite WEMA Bank and Polling Unit 6, Osolo Hall, both in Ward 2, to check their names on the pasted INEC voters registers.
The same scenario played out at Unit 2, Ward 1, LA Primary School, Popo, where voters were being educated by INEC ad hoc staff on how to check their names on the pasted voter register, advising them to conduct themselves in orderly manners.
The voters were equally admonished not to sell their votes.
The INEC Presiding Officer, Valentine Awoegbe, also advised the political parties’ agents, election observers and the media to cooperate with the INEC staff, while performing their duties for hitch-free poll.
There were large numbers of security personnel, manning strategic locations in the two major towns to ensure hitch-free conduct of the election.
Restriction of vehicular movement was, however, not noticed in the town as commercial motorcyclists were seen operating freely within town early in the day before the commencement of voting.
In Ede and its environs, eligible voters were seen rushing to their various polling units as early as 6.30 a.m in readiness to participate in the governorship election amidst tight security.
The Correspondent, who went round the community reports that many voters were already at their polling units as early as 7.00 a.m, awaiting the arrival of the electoral officers.
There was large presence of security personnel manning strategic locations in the town, while some were seen patrolling the major roads to ensure normalcy at about 6:45 a.m.
Also, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members, who would serve as INEC ad hoc staff, were seen in buses conveying them to their various polling units and wards.
At Ward 2, Unit 9, Abogunde area, where Adeleke, the PDP candidate is expected to cast his vote, voters were already waiting for the commencement of the election.
Also, at Ward 1, Unit 4, Atapara area, voters were seen in large numbers making arrangements for the arrival of INEC officials.
NAN further reports that INEC officials started arriving at their locations by 7.00 a.m.
Speaking, Mr Akinwumi Olaniyi, said the election would be peaceful, looking at the level of preparedness of INEC and the heavy presence of security personnel.
Also, Miss Abigal Ayoade, on her way to the polling unit, appealed to the electorate not to take laws into their hands, but rather ensure they obeyed all the regulations set aside by the electoral officers.
In Ile-Ife, there was large turn out of residents of the ancient city heading toward their polling units to vote.
NAN Correspondent reports that there was massive deployment of security agencies to different locations in the town.
Many eligible voters trooped to their polling units as early as 7.30 a.m to ensure that they cast their votes early.
At L.A Primary School, Ilode Ward 11, Unit 007, election materials were on ground in readiness for the accreditation and voting.