Saturday, 9 August 2014

Tight Security Scare Osun Voters To Leave Homes

About one million voters in Osun State will today elect a new governor to pilot the affairs of the state for another four years, but this will be done amid tight security and tension.

The last one week has seen an unprecedented influx of security operatives in the state and the number keeps rising in the build-up to the poll, according to the Punch.
Heavily armed security operatives from the Nigerian Army, the Department of State Services, the Nigeria Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps have been arriving in Osogbo, Osun State capital and other major towns in the state in large numbers.
Meanwhile, the presence of the security operatives, particularly military personnel, at major junctions and entry points into the state has led to apprehension among residents.
A resident, Mrs. Bunmi Ogunkeye, saidthat many voters would shun the poll because of the heavy security presence in the state. She said the activities of the security operatives had been creating fears in the mind of people.
She said: Sometimes when the security operatives are passing in their convoy of vehicles with sirens, they harass motorists on the roads and shoot into the air for no just reason. It is good to have adequate security during elections but there is a limit. We all know the excesses of military men.
According to another resident, Mr. Oladeji Okanlawon, he would not vote for fear of being hit by stray bullets.Okanlawon said he would pray for his preferred candidate in the comfort of his room.
He said: With the way things are going, I will not go out to vote and I will tell my family members to do the same. With many guns around, anything can happen. A bullet that is not targeted at you could hit you even if you have done nothing wrong.
However, there are some residents who have described the heavy security presence in the state as better than having touts take over the electoral process like it has been done in the past.
Twenty candidates are vying for the Osun State governors seat and last minute preparations were in top gear ahead of the election on Thursday and Friday.
Some of the candidates include the incumbent governor Rauf Aregbesola of the APC; a former Deputy Governor of the state, Senator Iyiola Omisore of the PDP; and the Labour Party candidate, Fatai Akinbade.
According to the residents, the three candidates are considered the strongest and the ones with biggest shot at the keenly contested seat.
On Thursday morning, the Independent National Electoral Commission began the distribution of electoral materials to local government areas ahead of the election.
INEC Public Relations Officer, Mr. Kayode Idowu, saodthat the law provides that a candidate must have 25 per cent in at least two-thirds of the state and have the highest number of votes to emerge the winner.
Meanwhile, on the streets of Osogbo, the main subject of discourse was often centred around politics and the chances of the candidates in the poll. Often, residents were sighted in clusters discussing their preferred candidates.
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