EKITI State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi and Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade (rtd), have expressed satisfaction with the peaceful conduct of the rerun election in Ekiti Central Constituency 11 seat for the House of Representative, which held yesterday.
The state Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also adjudged the election to be peaceful and fair, even though the ACN condemned the heavy presence of military personnel in the state.
But the State Police Command said eight people were arrested for attempting to snatch ballot boxes in Oke-Imesi in Ekiti West Local Council.
The Public Relation Officer of the State Police Command, Mr Victor Babayemi said, the police prevented the hoodlums from escaping with the election material.
The Appeal Court sitting in the state had on November 17, 2011 nullified the election of the ACN candidate and the winner of the April 26, 2011 election, Mr Oyetunde Ojo, on the ground that the logo and the names of the candidate of the National Transformation Party (NTP), Mr Bamigbade Peters were missed on the ballot papers.
The constituency comprise of Ijero, Efon and Ekiti West Local Government Areas with 33 wards and about 115,876 voters.
Seven political parties participated in the election, but the two main contenders are Ojo of the ACN and a former member of House of Representatives, Hon Kehinde Odebunmi of the PDP.
The election witnessed impressive turnout of voters, who were accredited between the hours of 8am and 12noon before the normal voting that commenced at about 12.30pm.
Chopper belonging to the Police Force was seen hovering around in the Air, while two Armoured Personnel Carriers were stationed at Aramoko and Ijero.
Though, there were complaints by party agents over the late supply of form EC8A in Aramoko Ekiti, it was later brought by INEC staff at about 2.30pm.
To ensure the credibility of the election and checkmate the activities of poll riggers, Policemen mounted barricades at the entry points of some major towns like Aramoko, Erinjiyan, Efon Alaaye, Ipoti, Okemesi and Ita Ore–Aramoko highway.
The Commissioner of Police in the State, Mr Olayinka Balogun was also asked to step aside for Mr Yabo Mohammed from Zamfara Police Command to supervise the conduct of the election.
Fayemi, while speaking with newsmen said, the INEC and the security agencies should live up to expectations of the teeming populace of the constituency.
He urged that security agencies and the INEC ad hoc staff should ensure one-man-one-vote to sustain the credibility of the election.
He, however, regretted the heavy presence of mobile policemen and military in the constituency, saying the situation did not warrant such massive deployment of armed personnel to the Constituency just for the conduct of Rerun election.
“There is nothing to suggest that the state may witness violence. So, the idea of massive deployment of policemen is absurd.”
The Minister of Police Affairs, who lauded the policemen for their civility pointed out that Nigeria should learn how to conduct free and fair elections for the country to earn respect in the international community.
He said the heavy presence of the police was to maintain peace and orderliness and nothing more, adding, “even the military personnel that you see did not stay at a spot. They were moving around to ensure that the election is peaceful.”