Except the inevitable beyond human comprehension happens, it is without doubt that tomorrow’s elections will hold as scheduled. The holding of elections comes with some reliefs as there has been tension across the land with some analysts speculating that the elections may be postponed. In readiness for the election, some state governments decided to give
Except the inevitable beyond human comprehension happens, it is without doubt that tomorrow’s elections will hold as scheduled. The holding of elections comes with some reliefs as there has been tension across the land with some analysts speculating that the elections may be postponed.
In readiness for the election, some state governments decided to give their workers enough time to travel to their voting points by declaring public holidays while Banks and other big organisations also announced early closures. Bayelsa and Osun states declared public holidays while Oys state declared half-work day. There is a rush in major supermarkets and open markets by people trying to do last minute shopping for the weekend.
While Osun state is observing today as a public holiday, its Oyo neighbour is observing it as half work day. In a statement, the Executive Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke approved Friday 24th of February as a public holiday for residents and indigenes to travel for the Presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday. The Secretary to the State Government, Hon Teslim Igbalaye, said public servants are expected to utilize the opportunity to travel for the electoral process.
In Oyo state a circular from the Secretary to the State government, Mr. Olubanwo Adeosun directed that government offices will close at 12 noon except those covering essential services. The circular noted that this is tandem with the governor’s commitment to deepening democracy and good governance.
Following series of violent political attacks in recent days in Ilesa, Osun State, most hotels are reluctant to accommodate guests especially connected with political activities. Reason for this according to them is for fear of vandalization of their assets by political thugs. Though occupancy rate is low due to the elections, some of the hotels are willing to accommodate guests from faraway places.
Going round the towns in Osun states, to gauge the mood of the people, there is evidence that the people are ready for the elections. The open campaigns ended yesterday but a lot of people are gathered in different places doing analyses on how the election may turn. Apart from members of the political parties and their supporters who will vote for their known parties, there are still few undecided voters not sure of who to vote for. The fear of violence may also prevent some persons from coming out to exercise their franchise.
The Naira redesign policy and the hardship it had inflicted on the citizens is being talked about in many places as unlike before when everything bubbles on the eve of a major election like this, all is on the contrary calm. Some of the party agents are seen in their secretariat waiting to be mobilized for tomorrow’s assignment.
High cost of fuel is another nagging problem for the citizens. Most of the filling stations have fuel but are selling at exorbitant prices. The average selling price of fuel in Osun state is N250.00. Most of the stations sell at N300.00 per liter. There is also another exploitation because most of the filling stations claimed not not have functional POS service. But, within the vicinity of their filling stations are one or two operators of POS rendering services and collecting charges thereby further adding to the cost of fuel.
Meanwhile, some of the known polling booths are already being arranged for tomorrow’s exercise with canopies being erected for the polling officers. The INEC secretariat in the two states are a beehive of activities with influx of persons coming in and going out. The operations department is the most visited in the offices.
Presence of Heavy Security Personnel
There is a heavy presence of security personnel between Oyo State and Osun State. Shortly the border at Asejire water dam, their is a military checkpoint heavily manned by soldiers with drums and sand bags as barricades. The soldiers were heavily armed.
Between Asejire and Gbongan bridge leading to Osogbo, there were about five police checkpoints. Between Gbongan and Osogbo, there were three checkpoints. Driving from Osogbo to Ilesa were two other police checkpoints but NDR was reliably informed that a military checkpoint would still spring up along that axis.
Uneasily Calm in Ilesa
There was uneasy calm in Ilesa metropolis following the violent attacks witnessed between the PDP and the APC in recent weeks leading to a couple of deaths. The killings were said to be pepetrated by members of different cult groups aligned to the leading political parties.
Some of the residents are apprehensive about election day violence or post-election attacks with some persons already saying they may stay back at home and not cast any vote in the election.
Oyo NSCDC Deploys 4,081 Personnel for Tomorrow’s Poll
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, in Oyo State has deployed over four thousand personnel to all polling units in the state to achieve a hitch-free exercise. The NSCDC, Commandant in Oyo state, Mr Micheal Adaralewa stated this while briefing the officers and men of the command on the importance of professionalism while discharging their duties.
Mr Adaralewa reiterated his command’s readiness to provide adequate security of life and property and all electoral materials including the ad-hoc staff of INEC during the general elections.
The race in Oyo and Osun states appears a staright battle between the PDP and the APC. There is not much of the Labour Party candidate’s presence in the two states. But only the outcome from the elections will confirm who is who in the state in terms of political presence.