Low turnout, violence mar guber polls

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Voting has closed and collation continues across various polling units over the country in the gubernatorial and state assembly elections that have been marred by violence and low voter turnout in many areas.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki lamented the malfunctioning of card readers at some polling stations in Kwara State .

He also decried low voter turnout in the state, compared to what obtained during the February 23 presidential / National Assembly election .

Saraki arrived at his polling unit (006 ) at Ajikobi Ward, Agbaji area of Ilorin West Local Government Area at about 11 . 07 am to cast his vote.

He was accompanied by his wife, Toyin , who also cast her vote immediately after her husband . The duo left almost immediately after voting .

PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar also lamented the low turnout, which he has attributed to alleged rigging of the presidential poll.

Atiku spoke after casting his ballot at the Ajiya polling unit 02, Gwadabawa ward of Yola north local government of Adamawa state.

“There is low voter turn out and I believe it’s because of the last election which was marred by a lot of irregularities,” he said.

Atiku said the involvement of the military in the election is unconstitutional, urging the electorate to be law-abiding.

While the elections have been largely peaceful across the country, violence has been observed in some areas, including Rivers, Oyo, and Akwa Ibom States.

In Ogbomoso, Oyo State where a tough contest is unfolding, armed thugs allegedly invaded a polling unit at Oke Ola Farm Settlement, Unit Four of Ogbomoso South Local Government Area of Oyo State, and carted away thumb-printed ballot papers in all the units in the area.

Olamide Adewale, who made a distress call on the matter, said, “Hoodlums armed to the teeth just invaded unit 4A in Oke Ola farm settlement here in Ogbomoso South local government and forcefully ferried away all the ballot boxes en route Ogbomoso/Oyo road. They went in Oyo direction,” he said.

Reports also revealed that the ballot boxes at Ward 3 Unit 3 in Ibadan Northwest were snatched in the presence of security agents around 2pm.

Also, some members of the driver’s union allegedly chased away PDP, ZLP and ADC agents at Cooperative poling units, housing four poling booths in Ward 7, Oluyole local government.

In Rivers, where Minister of Transport Rotimi Amaechi is backing the AAC candidate with Federal might, thugs allegedly carted away ballot boxes in the presence of the Police and Army at Omagwa, Ward 9 Unit1 of Ikwerre LGA Rivers State.

In Akwa Ibom, which former governor Godswill Akpabio is hell bent on winning for the APC candidate, Nsima Ekere, some thugs alleged to be working for the All Progressives Congress (APC), tried to hijack electoral materials after invading Ikono Ward 10 Unit 9 in the local government area of the state.

The thugs allegedly shot four people in the course of the invasion.

It was gathered that upon their attempt to make away with the materials, one of the thugs was captured and set ablaze by the irate youths.

Stay tuned to Today’s Echo for more reports on the election.

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