AT LEAST six people including a corps member, Ibrahim Okanlawon, were said to have died in Ondo State during the last Saturday House of Assembly election. While Okanlawon who served as an ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and a staff of the commission, died in a boat mishap, four others were […]

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Ondo

AT LEAST six people including a corps member, Ibrahim Okanlawon, were said to have died in Ondo State during the last Saturday House of Assembly election.

While Okanlawon who served as an ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and a staff of the commission, died in a boat mishap, four others were killed during a protest in Ore, Odigbo Local Government area of the State.

The two people who lost their lives in the boat mishap and seven others were said to be returning from election duty in Arogbo community in the coastal area, of Ese Odo local government area of the State when the boat capsized.

According to the source, who said some INEC officials and the three corps member were returning from Arogbo when the speed boat capsized at the bank of Agadagba – Obon.

He, however, said it took the intervention of the marine security at the bank of the river to rescue the five victims but said one of the corps member, Ibrahim Okanlawon, from Osun State, and an INEC staff were not lucky.

He said all the victims were unconscious after they were rescued by the security but said only three of the victims survived the accident saying, two other corps members who sustained injuries are currently receiving treatment at the hospital.

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He explained that the corps member who died in the mishap failed to use the life jacket as at the time of the incidence and all efforts to rescue him alive failed.

Meanwhile, four people were reportedly killed in Ore, Odigbo local government area of the State during the Saturday election.

The four people were said to have protested over the electoral fraud in the area, kicking against the emergence of the winner of the election.

A source from the community explained that the youths frowned over cases of voting buying and manipulation of the election result, threatening not to allow the announcement of the result.

The source, however, said security operatives from the town were invited but said the youth refused to shift their ground, while they also attacked the security agents.

He said the policemen started to shoot sporadically and four of the youths hit with the bullet died at the venue of the protest.

However the State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Femi Joseph, who confirmed the incidents said only two people died during the election saying one person died during the fracas in Ore.

The PPRO also confirmed the boat mishap in Agadagba, describing the incident as unfortunate saying the corpse of the corps member who died in the boat accident has been deposited at the morgue.

The Deputy Governor of the State, Hon Agboola Ajayi has sympathised with the family of the Okanlawon, who died during a boat mishap, describing his death as unfortunate.

He said he was saddened by the death of Ibrahim, saying that the nation had lost one of its talented and productive young men while serving his fatherland.

Meanwhile, INEC on Sunday declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Hon Nicholas Tofowomo, as the winner of the of Ondo South Senatorial district election after the conclusion of the last Saturday supplementary election.

Tofowomo was declared winner of the election after scoring 81,892 votes to defeat his closest rival, the incumbent Senator, Yele Omogunwa of the ruling APC who polled 55, 610 votes.

The result was announced by INEC Returning Officer for the district, Prof Kayode Onifade after the Senatorial supplementary election was concluded.

It will be recalled that INEC declared the February 23 National Assembly election in Ondo South Senatorial election inconclusive, saying over 28,300 were disenfranchised in the election while the margin between the winner and the runner’s up was less than the total number of registered voters in the affected units where elections did not hold or canceled.

Tofowomo had initially polled 79,036 to defeat Omogunwa who scored 51,993, with vote margins of 27, 036 when the election was declared inconclusive.

However, unconfirmed results of the last Saturday House of Assembly election indicated the ruling APC in the State has won 23 out of the 26 available seats in the State House of Assembly.

According to a report, the PDP won two of the seats in Akoko North East local government area of the state while the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) won the Ondo West state constituency.

But the House of Assembly candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the last Saturday election, Hon Ebenezer Adeniyan, has described the election as a shame and a dent on the nation’s democracy saying “It was the worst election I have ever witnessed in my adult life.”

Adeniyan alleged that the election was highly monetised by the ruling party in the State and said “the ruling All Progressives Congress conspired with the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to engage in the open purchase of votes across all the polling units in the constituency.

“The APC had deployed between N300,000 and N500,000 to each polling unit on the eve of the election. Unable to compete, this forced some opposition parties to scale back on their own logistics for the election.

“In many of the units, the vote-buying was effectively supervised by security agents and in some, security agents participated in the distribution of the money. This is a setback for whatever gains we have made in our electoral process in the last decade.

“In some units, agents of opposition parties that did not bribe security agents were chased out of the polling areas, while voting cubicles were left in the hands of agents of APC to monitor voting pattern of induced voters.

“That INEC and security agencies cannot curb open vote buying has simply put the nail on the coffin of democracy in Nigeria. It is unfortunate that the only way to win an election in Nigeria today is to buy votes.”

He however congratulated the APC candidate who emerged as the winner of the contest and said “the faulty process notwithstanding, I congratulate the winner of the election, Mr Toluwani Borokini of the APC. I wish him a successful tenure in office.”

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Source:Tribune Online