FACE OFF – Fayemi, Olusola in Two-Horse Race As Ekiti Votes Today
Fear of violence was palpable, considering the rancorous campaigns before the poll. The allegations by the PDP that the APC was working to rig the poll dominated discussion across the state.
But the police and other security agencies have assured the people of maximum security, urging them to troop with confidence.
To ensure adequate security and safety of lives and property, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris approved the deployment of 30,000 personnel for Ekiti election.
The personnel comprises Police Mobile Force (PMF) units, Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), the Special Protection Unit (SPU), the Anti-Bomb Squad (EOD), Conventional Policemen, the Armament Unit, personnel of FCID and the Sniffer dogs section.
Four Policemen and two others from other security agencies will be on duty at each polling unit throughout the state. The Police Mobile Force (PMF) to be headed by a very Senior Officer will provide security at the collation centres.
Also on ground are two patrol surveillance helicopters, Five additional Armoured Personnel Carriers, 10 Armoured Personnel Vehicles and 250 Police patrol vehicles.
According to the police, restriction of vehicular movement in and out of the state will commence from 12-midnight yesterday, till the end of the election. However, those on essential duties on genuine course will be granted passage.
Today’s election is also expected to be another litmus test in terms of strength and struggle for political space and dominance between Fayose and Fayemi.
Fayose trounced Fayemi in the last election held on June 21, 2014 and this election avails the ex-Minister the veritable opportunity to take a pound of flesh.
As at press time, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had distributed sensitive materials like forms EC8A, EC8B and EC8E that would be used for the conduct of the election.
The Commission’s Public Relations Officer in Ekiti, Taiwo Gbadegesin said that the materials had been distributed to the 16 local government areas under heavy security cover.
He said a total of 6,000 youth corps members and other 3,000 ad hoc staff were recruited for the election.
“We distributed the materials in the presence of representatives of political parties and security. The vehicles that conveyed them to the councils were heavily guarded.
“They were not only guarded but were tracked and put on serious ICT watch to ascertain that there were no diversions or compromises on the way.”
The mood across the state portrayed that of determined people ready to troop out today to cast their votes for their preferred candidates.
PDP’s candidate, Olusola, is a 50-year old Professor of Engineering and current deputy governor of the state.