From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) has suspended the conduct of the ongoing council poll in Ido Local Government based on omission of the logo of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) on the ballot papers.
OYSIEC Chairman Aare Isiaka Olagunju made the announcement when he briefed reporters at the headquarters of the Commission in Agodi, Ibadan, on Saturday afternoon.
He announced very late on Saturday that the suspended poll would hold on Sunday May 23.
According to him, the ZLP presented candidate for the chairmanship poll only in Ido Local Government and did not contest in the other 32 local government areas.
‘Recall few minutes ago, I announced the suspension of electoral activities at Ido Local Government Council due to the omission of the logo of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP). We have contacted our supplier who has assured that the ballot papers will be delivered today (Saturday). In that wise, we have adjourned the suspended election at Ido local government to tomorrow starting from 8 am to 3 pm.
‘There will also be restriction of movement within Ido local government council. We want to appeal and apologise profusely to all concerned for the inconveniences we have caused, particularly people of Ido local government and supporters of all political parties that are participating in this election. It is inadvertent; we regret the error and I take full responsibility.’
Meanwhile, Governor Seyi Makinde on Saturday applauded the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) for putting appropriate measures in place to aid the conduct of free and fair local government election in the 33 local government areas of Oyo State.
The governor, who voted at the Ward 11, Polling Unit 1, Abayomi Open Space, Abayomi Bus Stop, Iwo Road, Ibadan, said that he was so happy seeing people exercising their civic rights by voting for the candidates of their choice in a friendly and conducive atmosphere.
‘I am quite happy about what we have seen so far because the people are doing what they are supposed to do,’ he said.
‘The security agencies are there and doing their work. From what they have told me, there is nothing overwhelming as they are on top of the situation.
‘My message to the good people of Oyo State is, first, this is a process. We will throw up some people and it is not the end in itself but a means to an end. The end in democracy is good governance for Oyo State. The people must be eternally vigilant.
‘Even though people are being elected today, we have to hold them accountable just like I am being accountable at the state level.’
In the same vein, the reports have been heard that there were skirmishes in some parts of the state, such as fighting and snatching of ballot boxes, especially in Oke-Ola in Eruwa, the headquarters of Ibarapa East Local Government Area of the state.
Gunshots were reportedly heard in Ibarapa East Ward Five in New Eruwa. The battle, as gathered, was between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party(LP).
Investigation revealed that many opinion leaders in Ibarapa East were supporting LP against PDP, in spite of the fact that the current Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin, of PDP hails from Eruwa.
The OYSIEC Chairman has, however, appealed to warring groups to sheathe their swords and allow the process to go smoothly.