Citing Violence, PDP Rejects Ekiti Council Poll

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Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) SAaturday rejected the outcome of local government election in Ekiti State, noting that the election was riddled with electoral malpractice and violence in different parts of the state.

The party, therefore, said it would consult with its stakeholders to determine if it would challenge the outcome of the election at the tribunal, saying what happened was similar to the events in Bayelsa and Kogi States.

The Chairman, Ekiti PDP, Mr. Gboyega Oguntuase made the remarks in Ado Ekiti yesterday in reaction to the outcome of the council polls in 16 local government areas (LGAs). Oguntuase said: “From what we heard all over, the poll is riddled with violence, obviously as expected in an APC state. It is not fair. As I speak, it is believed that they have shot one person dead. Two others survived gunshot.

“In Ikole local government, the number of boxes that were to go to Ijesa Isu, Odo Oro, ward 4 in Ikole, all of them were reduced. Where the boxes were, nobody could account for them. That is a clear case of ballot stuffing.
“In Ise Orun, very early in the morning, they unleashed terror on PDP people, seized all the ballot boxes from the units. The same thing applies to Emure and Ekiti East.”

On whether the PDP will reject the outcome, he answered “Can any reasonable person accept the result of an election that is riddled with violence and fraud? It is clear. We won’t accept it.” On whether the PDP will go to court, Oguntuase said consultations “will be made with the leaders to know the next line of action. We warned them earlier.

“We told them that we might not have a free and fair election with the calibre of people they put at SIEC and with the nature of APC. See what they did in Kogi and Bayelsa for instance. They cannot tolerate true democracy.”
Meanwhile, an eyewitness confirmed to journalists that some political thugs invaded a polling unit in Ikere Ekiti and disrupted the poll in the unit.

The source said about four people “were wounded and the SIEC officials had to quit their duty posts. The thugs came to snatch ballot. When they were resisted, they started shooting. One person was killed as a result.”
The eyewitness told journalists that four others, who sustained varying degrees of injury during the violence, had Ben taken to the hospital for treatment..

The police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, Mr. Sunday Abutu, said he had not been briefed as of the time of filing this report.

However, in Ado Ekiti, the commercial motorcycle operators, were seen on major roads while traders opened their shops to make living despite the restriction order announced by the police between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
The election, which was to elect 16 local government chairmen and 177 councillors, was peaceful and devoid of violence in most part of the state.

To avert disruption of the election by party thugs, the police commissioner, Mr. Asuquo Amba, deployed his men to all the 2,195 polling units across the state.

The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Funminiyi Afuye, who voted at St Johns Primary School in Ikere Ekiti declared support for e-voting electoral system, saying he was ready to support any action that would improve the country’s electioneering.

Afuye described the local government election as peaceful and devoid of actions that could truncate free and fair outcome, noting that though the turnout was a little bit low, it was peaceful.

He said: “The reason could not have been unconnected with the impression by the PDP that the APC will win all the seats. But Governor Kayode Fayemi believes in democracy and allows free and fair process.

“Unlike in the past when local government elections were like wars, this one is free and fair, we do not believe in violence. If you have something to showcase, you have no reason to be violent. No incidence of intimidation. Both the PDP and APC are mobilising for this election.”

The APC State Chairman, Mr Paul Omotoso, who voted at Imesi Ekiti in Gbonyin local government commended the peaceful nature of the poll, praising Fayemi for setting a pace on how best to conduct a credible poll.

The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua voted at Community Pilot School, polling unit 006, Oke Osun ward in Ikere, praising the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) for the smooth conduct of the election.