Violence mars Ekiti re-run election
From BOLU-OLU ESHO, Ado-Ekiti
Controversy over shortage of electoral materials and pockets of violence between supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Action Congress (AC) literally marred yesterday’s Senatorial bye-election in Ekiti North Senatorial District.
The election which took place in five local governments in Ekiti State was between Ayo Arise of PDP and Olubunmi Adetunmbi of the AC. Sunday Sun learnt that most voting units did not receive ballot materials until noon even as the supply was below the number of registered voters in various voting units.
There were allegations that ballot papers for Ipao, Oke Ako and Irele were set ablaze when some people were allegedly thumb printing those meant for the area.
Former governor of the state, Otunba Niyi Adebayo got the baptism of fire as the windscreen of his Toyota Sequoia Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) was smashed at Iludun, in Ilejemeje local government area of the state.
Adebayo, who was an election supervisor for the AC, alleged he was attacked by the Police orderly of the council chairman, Isaac Oyekanmi, when going round to monitor the election.
Sunday Sun learnt he was at the police Divisional Headquarters at Iye-Ekiti to lodge complaints when Governor Segun Oni, who was on an assessment tour, heard about the attack and went to see him there.
Oni and Adebayo were seen in the station holding each other’s hands and smiling.
Addressing newsmen on the issue, Adebayo said Governor Oni assured that the police would take appropriate action.
Meanwhile, the Police orderly was also at the station to lodge complaints that he was attacked by bodyguards of the former governor.
In his address, Governor Oni said he received reports of violence in some areas.
When Sunday Sun got to Ifaki-Ekiti, some youths in front of the AC candidate, Bunmi Adetunmbi went wild when they saw journalists and alleged that newsmen failed to go where ballot boxes were being snatched in the town.
They brandished different dangerous weapons including axe, broken bottles, stumps and stones.
Reporters of AIT and Silverbird TV were not as lucky as they were beaten black and blue by hoodlums at the Palace street in Ifaki.
The AIT camera was smashed and the reporter’s identity card got lost in the process.
There were series of face-off between the supporters of both candidates in Oba’s Palace area as they were seen throwing missiles at one another.
Governorship candidate of AC in 2007 general election, Dr. Kayode Fayemi alleged that Police arrested the council chairman of Moba local government, Akin Alebiosu, with about 20 men and arms and ammunition.
He, however, discredited the election describing it as a “plethora of implementation of electoral fraud by INEC and PDP.”
There were reports that four people were allegedly shot at the front of the residence of the AC senatorial candidate, Adetunmbi. He was alleged to have been arrested and taken to Ado-Ekiti by the police.
But Fayemi said Adetunmbi was not arrested but guarded by the policemen to protect him from being attacked by supporters of PDP in Ifaki.
Accusations and counteraccusations raged between members of both parties ranging from attacks to snatching of ballot boxes.
Surprisingly, voting exercise was peaceful in Oye-Ekiti, which was regarded as the “Afghanistan” of Ekiti State. There was no reports of violence. As at the time of filing this report, the results of the election were yet to be released.