Continuous Voters’ Registration: Massive Turn Out In Osun, As Shortage Of Registration Machines, Other Materials Marred Exercise
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) flagged off state of Osun voters’ registration exercise on Wednesday, March 12, 2014.
The registration exercise scheduled to hold between Wednesday March 12, to Monday 19 2014 would give people who did not partake in 2011 voters registration another opportunity to do so and thereby make them eligible to exercise their civic right in the upcoming elections.
The potential electorates thereby vowed to do everything possible to resist any form of rigging in the August 9 gubernatorial election and reject any form of violence in the state.
Some of the polling units visited by Bioreports indicated that the exercise experience massive turn out as majority of the people were seen queuing eagerly to register their names.
Some places visited by our correspondence, revealed that Osogbo, Iwo, Ilesa, Ile-Ife, Modakeke, Ikirun and Ila witnessed massive turn out, while other towns and villages recorded low turnout by intending electorates.
The communities and villages that their turn out were not encouraging were, Ota-Ayegbaju, Eripa, Ada, Garage-Olode and Obaagun.
Bioreports learnt that, in Eripa, Boluwaduro Local Government there was a uproar at the Eripa CSDP Civic Centre where the registration exercise was ongoing as majority of people brought by PDP’s agent who wanted to register were said to have not qualified for the registration due to their age status.
One of the representatives of the All Progress Change (APC) who discovered the incident immediately raised alarm, the development later degenerated to a free for all and it took the intervention of policemen to calm the situation.
It was later gathered at the poling unit that, the said under aged people were imported to the poling unit by the People Democratic Party (PDP) in the community.
In Ikire, Irewole Local Government Area of the State, the registration exercise went smoothly, and in ward 3, 9, 10 there was a low turn out while security problem was recorded in ward 4 which according to a source was later resolved.
At ward 9, Mokore area of Atakunmosa Local Government Bioreports gathered that there was a violent attack on the members of the APC by the suspected thugs of the opposition party. While machines being used at the ward 8 St Francis and Ward 9 all in Modakeke were said to be faulty which delayed the registration exercise in the areas.
A cross section of People who spoke with Bioreports in one of the unit located at Salvation Army Middle School, Osogbo where hundreds of the people gathered to register their name expressed their discontentment over the insufficient machines brought to the area.
They lamented that hundreds of poling units were reduced to one ward with only one machine serving all these units in the area and it has made it difficult for them to do their registration on time.
They also alleged INEC of incapability to handle the exercise while some said that INEC uses the technique to disfranchise the people from selecting their preferred candidate in August governorship election in the state.
Reacting to this development, Idowu Ayorinde a staff of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, said nothing would stop them from resisting any form of rigging in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state of Osun.
Ayorinde who out of frustration by the delay of INEC officials at the poling unit accused INEC of using delay tactics to deny majority of people at the unit from registering.
Ayorinde therefore urged the INEC and Security Agencies, especially the Nigerian Police, to get their acts together and ensure free, fair and credible election in Osun, adding that the people of Osun would not allow the peaceful atmosphere being enjoyed in the state since the inception of present administration to be terminated by some unscrupulous politicians who have nothing good to offer the people of the state.
Responding in same tune, Mrs Abike Olagbaju, who gave thanks to God for giving her opportunity to be part of the people to register for their voters card said she has been looking forward to appreciate the incumbent governor for his unprecedented achievements and the immeasurable developments his administration has brought to the state, saying the ongoing voters registration would definitely give her chance to ensure his continuity through her vote and others who have the same mind.
Olagbaju therefore expressed their readiness to defend their votes, warning that those planning to rig or use federal might should not import the Anambra style into Osun as doing such would be met with stiff resistance.\