18th March, 2023
By Suleiman Shehu and Oluwaseyi Oduneye-Ogunwomoju
A visit to polling units in some areas in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State revealed heavy security presence as voters were trooping out to exercise their franchice in the governorship and house of assembly elections holding today.
Some of the areas visited in Ibadan metropolis include Eleyele, Ososami, Oke-Ado, Ring Road and Iyaganku, among others.
Officials of INEC, corps members and unarmed policemen were also seen moving in various chartered buses to various polling units as early as 6.55 a.m.
As at 8.00 a.m, electoral officials had been at their duty posts, arranging their materials and awaiting the arrival of the voters, according to NAN.
There were also heavy presence of security personnel were also seen around the the city, with mostly soldiers mounting road blocks and enforcing restriction of vehicular movements.
The soldiers also mounted road blocks around Mobil roundabout, Akinyemi area and in front of the police headquarters at Eleyele, stopping vehicles who were not on election duties and forcing them out of their vehicles to sit down and observe the goings-on.
Some of the voters said that they had to walk to their polling units since there was restriction on vehicular movement.
One of the voters, simply identified as Mrs Lawson, said she was going to exercise her civic right, stressing “it will be unfair not to partake in the electoral process.”
Another voter, Mrs Tosin Adeleye, who said she had to trek more than 40 minutes to her polling unit, however, expressed her dissatisfaction with the treatment by security personnel.
“Although when I showed them my voter card, they allowed me to pass, nevertheless, they have to take it easy with people so that they don’t feel intimidated.
“But, for now, the situation is good and I pray it is maintained so we can cast our votes and go back home in peace,” she said.
At New Adeoyo road, a voter, Alhaji Mohammed AbdulAzeez, commended the security situation around the area, attributing it to the tension recorded in the build-up to the election.
“We can all see the tension on Thursday when political parties attacked and killed their supporters. So I think the mobilisation of security is a welcome development and I want to believe this will encouraged the electorate to come out to cast their votes and return home safely.