Thousands of Ekiti voters trooped out early Saturday to elect a new governor that will succeed incumbent governor, Kayode Fayemi who is at the tail end of his second four-year tenure.
About 16 political parties are fielding candidates for the election, but it is expected to be a fierce battle involving Biodun Oyebanji of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC); Segun Oni of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Bisi Kolawole of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The election, commenced as early as 8am. Voters, in strong determination to elect a new governor, trecked to their polling units for accreditation.
DIPLOMATIC DIARY observed that residents living along Federal Polytechnic road and Afe Babalola University areas, with a distance of about eight kilometres to the voting centres, trooped out as early as 6:30am to polling units.
Also, at some polling units at Odo Ado, Oke- Ori Omi, Okeyinmi, Irona and Oke- Ila areas in Ado- Ekiti, DIPLOMATIC DIARY also observed voters, trooped out in large numbers as polling units were already overcrowded even before 9.am.
For seamless conduct of the poll, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, had ordered the restriction of vehicular movements along entry and exit points to the state from 12:00am on 18th June, 2022 to 6:00pm of the same day.
Unarmed Policemen have also been deployed in all polling units as early as 6am, while armed policemen are positioned in strategic areas to prevent violence.
However, owing to the 18-hour restriction placed on the state, voters trecked long distance to polling centres.
One of the voters, Ojo Adeniyi said he was trekking to his polling unit at Ori -Ekiti, which was about six kilometres to his residential area.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Johnson Kokumo had earlier disclosed that Ekiti State would be properly secured to avoid any breakdown of law and order during the poll.
He also revealed that a total of 17,000 personnel had been deployed for the poll.
The DIG added that soldiers would be at the borders of the communities to prevent any form of intrusion.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said 988,923 voters captured in the Commission’s register would decide who becomes the new Ekiti State Governor.
The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said 734,746 persons had collected their Permanent Voters Card for the election.