According to a report by The PUNCH, the many supporters of the All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State erupted in jubilation in the early hours of today (Sunday) when the results of Saturday’s governorship election showed that the candidate of the party, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, trounced the 15 other candidates that partook in the exercise.
Oyebanji, who is the immediate past Secretary to the State Government, won in 15 out of the 16 Local Government Areas of the state. He polled 187,057 votes.
However, his closest challenger, Mr Segun Oni, of the Social Democratic Party, scored 82,211 votes while the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Bisi Kolawole, scored 67,457 votes. Kolawole won his LGA, Efon, where he scored 6,303 to beat APC’s 4,012 and SDP’s 339 votes.
Meanwhile, our correspondents who monitored the exercise across the state reported that in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, residents trooped to the streets to celebrate the victory in the dead of the night. At the Government House in the Oke Ayoba area of the town, other APC governors, led by the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, monitored the exercise.
Similarly, in Ikogosi-Ekiti, Ekiti West Local Government Area, where Oyebanji hails from, residents also began celebrating the victory of their kinsman at the poll.
Also in Ikere-Ekiti, where Oyebanji’s running mate, Mrs Monitade Afuye, hails from, residents also began celebration as the results were announced by the respective local government Returning Officers.
In different parts of the state also, some members of the ruling party celebrated the victory, describing it as well-deserved.
The PUNCH correspondents observed that prior to the announcement of the results at the collation centre, all the results from the 16 local government areas had been uploaded on the Result Viewing Portal of the Independent National Electoral Commission, known as IReV.
Saturday PUNCH reported that the commission promised to adopt the electronic transmission of results, even though it would be complemented by manual transmission.
As of the time of filing this report at 2.10am, final collation was still ongoing, a precursor to the final announcement by the state’s Returning Officer.
However, there were isolated cases of violence in some polling units. For example, in Ekiti South-West Local Government Area, the APC scored 9,679 votes ahead of SDP’s 4,577 and PDP’s 4,474 votes. The Returning Officer for the LGA, Prof Gbolagade Jonathan, reported that there was violence in Units 5 and 7, where he said some hoodlums from nowhere carted away the ballot boxes, after firing gunshots.
Also, in Ikere LGA, the APC also won with 12,086 votes against the PDP and SDP, which scored 3,789 and 1943 respectively. The Returning Officer, Prof Emmanuel Ajava, announced that votes in Unit 2 of the LGA were cancelled due to violence.
Although the governorship election held across the 16 Local Government Areas and was relatively peaceful, incidents of vote-buying characterised the poll.
Candidates and agents of some political parties also alleged inducement of voters to deprive them of the opportunity of making their free choices.
It was gathered that some party agents were arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over alleged vote-buying at a polling station at Ola Oluwa Grammar School, Ado Ekiti during the election.
A source, who spoke on the development, said the suspects were apprehended with a bag of cash allegedly being used to induce voters.
“One of the suspects, who claimed to be a party agent, was arrested and has been taken into custody,” the source said.