9:40am. Dear readers, you’re welcome to SaharaReporters’ coverage of the 2018 Ekiti State governorship election.
9:45am. Here, we’ll give you a blow-by-blow account of how proceedings are unfolding in all 2,195 polling units where voting will take place.
9:55am. Ekiti has 913,334 voters, but 250,000 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) were uncollected, meaning the maximum votes exepected will be roughly 646,000. So says the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
9:58am. There are 35 candidates in all, but this is clearly a two-way race between Kolapo Olusola Eleka of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
10:02am. While Fayemi was the penultimate Governor of the state and was also Minsiter of Solid Minerals Development until he resigned at the end of May to pursue his governorship re-election ambition, Eleka is currently Deputy Governor of the state and the anointed candidate of outgoing Governor Ayodele Fayose.
10:07am. In many of the polling booths, accreditation has begun.
10:23am. At Ward 11, accreditation is well in progress, and peaceful.
10:30am. Fayemi has just cast his vote. He arrived at his Polling Unit 009, Ward 11 in Oye LGA at exactly 10:19am.
10:35am. Voters in Oye LGA queued up peacefully for the process.
Voters at Oye LGA
10:48am. Meanwhile, Eleka could not vote as the card reader failed at his polling unit.
10:57am. Upon arriving his Ikere Ward 2 Unit 6, Eleka made his way to the polling unit for accreditation but was unable to do so, as the card reader failed.
11:14am. Party agent attacked with acid.
11:16am. At Polling Unit 01, Ward 001, Udi in Ado Ekiti, the party agent was attacked with acid by a yet unidentified person following the breakout of a dispute.
11:28am: Fayemi pictured casting his vote.
11:30am. “There are cases of vote buying everywhere and we should not shy away from saying it,” says Dr. Abiola Akiyode Afolabi, an election monitor.
11:35am. She laments the high rate of voter inducement and wonders if the high turnout is due to people’s expectation that they would get money rather than the desire to vote for candidates of their choice.
11:38am. Professor Antonia Taiye Okoosi-Simbine, INEC National Commissioner, assures all whose accreditation were messed up by card readers that they all would vote.
11:40am. She promised them that all card reader failure cased would be resolved.
11:45am. Out of the 115 voters registered at Iludu 1, Polling Unit 008, Ward 08 in Front of Toba’s House at Ilejemeje LGA, 61 persons have so far voted.
11:46am. However, INEC officials are still expecting more voters to come out and cast their votes.
11:55am. While the wait is on, an INEC official rests her head on the table. It’s sleep time!
12:05pm. And here is another view…
12:10pm. Finally, Eleka has cast his vote. He did it at exactly 11:10am.
12:15pm: As of 11: 43am, voting was still ongoing at Unit 007, Ward 3 in Obada at Ilejemeje LGA.
12:23pm. It was still going on as of 12:15pm.
12:30pm. Meanwhile, at the Ajilosun Area of Ado Ekiti, the state capital, in front of Jonathan Memorial School, Police have arrested persons attempting to share money to voters.
12:35pm. Now, here comes one of the great Ekiti 2018 governorship election stories: a 113-year-old woman has just defied the odds to cast her vote.
12:38pm. Mama Ibiteye Comfort Bodunde was helped to the polling booth by a young man.
01:05pm. Faith Nwadishi, an observer with the Citizen Transparency Advocacy (CTA), is concerned about the heavy presence of the security operatives at Ilejemeje LGA.
10:10pm. Mrs. Nwadishi said that she and her team had moved around Obada, Iludu, Moba and Ijesha Modu all in Ilejemeje LGA.
01:15pm. “We have gone around and we have observed that there is the presence of heavy security in this particular LGA of Ilejemeje and we have been asking questions on reason why.
“Some of them — soldiers, DSS, NSCDC, mobile policemen — patrolling the area told us that the Ilejemeje LGA is one of the flashpoint areas in the state.”
1:25pm. A suspected APC thug, Sunday Owoeye, has reportedly been arrested by the NSCDC for allegedly disrupting voting process at Ikole Ward 3 Unit 4.
1:30pm. Owoeye and some thugs tried to snatch a ballot box at the polling unit.
01:35: Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the Mega Party, Chief Bisi Omoyeni, has expressed confidence that he will win the election. Omoyeni said he learnt some political parties had been buying votes by openly giving money to voters.
01:36pm: At Ward 10 Unit 003, Fajuyi, Ado-Ekiti, two police officers were withdrawn by a superior officer and driven away in a patrol vehicle, but the reason for the action was unclear.
01:38pm. At Ward 3 Unit 4 in Ikole Ekiti in Temidire hoodlums snatched ballot box. Voting stalled, polling officials awaiting INEC directive.
01:43pm. A silo or what? Grains of rice stored inside the residence of Kayode Fayemi, the APC governorship candidate, at Isan at Oye LGA.
02:05pm. Ayodele Fayose, outgoing Governor of Ekiti State, arrived his polling unit at exactly 1:15pm ahead of casting his vote in the election.
02:27pm. At Ado Ekiti Ward 11 Unit 7, policemen in uniform were reported to be harassing voters and refusing them the right to vote.
02:22pm. Election going on peacefully at all polling units in Ogbese/Obada area in Ise/Orun LG.
02:32pm. Elsewhere in the same LG.
02:45pm. Armed military men stationed at the road leading to Isan-Ekiti in Oye LGA, on a stop-and-search mission on the vehicles entering the town.
03:00pm. APC Chieftain Adedayo Adeyeye blames Fayose and PDP for violence in the state, claiming the incidents of violence recorded so far were perpetrated by thugs loyal to Ayodele Fayose.
03:03pm. “I have heard cases of election violence in Ado and that can be traced to only one source, which is Fayose,” he said. “We heard that he has been harbouring thugs in the government house for days and he has unleashed them on the peace loving people of Ekiti.”
03:50pm. In most polling units, voting ended long ago, while vote sorting and counting already commenced.
03:55pm. A ballot box was snatched at Ileje-Meje, and the people can be seen screaming that “it was APC” that perpetrated the crime.
Source: Sahara Reporters