By Opeyemi Jelilat, Osogbo
A total of sixty-two thousand, three hundred and ninety three (622,393) eligible voters are expected to participate in the saturday April 9 Bye election into the Ife central state constituency, Osun state.
INEC resident electoral commissioner in charge of the Bye election Alhaji Nasiru Ayilara stated this while briefing newsmen on the commission’s level of preparation for the poll.
Alhaji Ayilara who maintained that INEC is prepared to conduct a free, fair and credible poll come saturday, disclosed that the materials for the bye election were already in the custody of the commission and would be distributed tomorrow for upward movement to the local government.
While assuring the 817 adhoc staff of INEC of their safety, Ayilara explained that there would be restriction of movement between the hours of8:00am and 4:00pm in the local government.
He said “due to the political nature of the local government area,the commission has fashioned out to security measures that would guarantee the safety of both INEC officials and the electorates.
” we had met with all the security agencies in the state and they have assured the commission of safety of both electoral officials and the voters”.
Meanwhile the two major political parties in the state have expressed divergent views on the commission decision not to distribute the materials today.
The agent of the All progressives Congress Mr Adeosun Razak said ” it is unconventional that we will inspect materials today, leave them at the state secretariat of INEC and then wait till tomorrow for the materials to be moved to thee field. We have not done this before, the normal practice is to examine the materials and get it loaded into local government vehicles for movement.
In fact, it is in our practice in the APC that we get our own people to accompany such materials to the field, because we have had cases in the past when materials were diverted”
But the Agent of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Sunday Adewole believes that the decision ” will prevent ballot papers from being moved to wrong places or hand. It’s good that INEC decided to wait till friday before moving the materials”
The Bye election would take place in 168 polling units of 11 wards in Ife central local government area of the state.
The Ife central state constituency in the osun House of Assembly became vacant following the death of the minority leader of the house Hon Oladejo Makinde, on December 27th 2015.