Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Apathy yesterday marred the local government election held across the 18 Local Government Areas in Ondo State as there was low turnout of voters.
It was observed that many residents of the state stayed indoor while election lasted.
The two major opposition political parties in the state; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) boycotted the election on the ground that they have no confidence in the State Independent Electoral Commission (ODIEC) which organized the election.
Also, the Social Democratic Party (ZLP) boycotted the election in Idanre Local Government Area of the state as a result of violence unleashed on some members of the party ahead of the election.
However, not many residents of the state exercised their franchise as many of the polling centres were deserted in Akure, Ondo, Idanre and Isarun.
In many of the polling centres visited by our correspondent in Akure, Owo, Ondo, Idanre, Ibulesoro and Isarun, only security operatives and adhoc staff of ODIEC were seen.
But the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon David Oleyelogun said the turnout at his Isarun unit 13, ward 10 in Ifedore Local Government Area was impressive.
He said the election went smoothly and expressed optimism that the All Progressive Congress (APC) will win the election, which he adjudged to be free and fair.
Oleyelogun noted that the election was a mock test for the state as a comprehensive election holds on October 10, saying that the performances of the APC in the local government election will determine the chances of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in the governorship election.
Also, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu who voted at his Ijebu unit 06, ward 05 in Owo, rated the election free and fair, claiming the the exercise was credible in all ramifications.
The Governor lauded ODIEC for organizing a credible election, just as he applauded the security agencies for their efforts at ensuring a peaceful exercise.
Meanwhile, the ODIEC chairman, Prof. Yomi Dimakin rated the election well, just as he denied allegation of favourism leveled against commission.
He said the commission created a level playing ground for all political parties that participated in the election and did not favour any of the political parties.