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April 27, 2024
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Delayed arrival of electoral materials hampers Oyo local government elections

Electoral activities in the Oyo State local government election have been significantly delayed, causing frustration among citizens who have turned out to cast their votes. Despite the scheduled commencement time of 8:00 AM, many polling units across the state have yet to receive the necessary electoral materials.

A correspondent from Ogunwatch visited 10 polling units in Ward 7 of Ibadan North Local Government and observed the absence of electoral officers. 

Additionally, as at the time of filing this report, only two police officers were present at Polling Unit 7, raising concerns about security and the integrity of the election process.

A polling unit in Ward 7

In Ward 8 in Ojo, Wesley reported that out of the expected 92 election ballot boxes, only 36 had arrived by the time of his observation. Ayinde, a resident, expressed dismay, stating, “This is a polling unit, and we have not seen any officials or bright ballot papers. This reminds us of the delays we experienced during Ajimobi’s time when INEC officials didn’t appear until 3 PM.”

A polling unit in Ward 7 with a police officer alone.

Further observations by Ogunwatch at Unit 7 revealed that the voter lists pasted at polling units were incorrect, belonging to another ward. A woman, who requested anonymity, stated, “For example, here at Sunnyday School 2 ward, they pasted the voter list meant for Sunnyday School 1.”

Voters frustrated at a polling unit, ward 7 where electoral materials are yet to arrive

The Chairman of the African Action Congress (AAC) in Oyo State expressed disappointment, stating, “This issue is very disappointing. We raised concerns days before the election, suspecting that the electoral body planned to delay the arrival of electoral materials at polling units. However, we advise our people to go out and defend their democratic rights.”

Efforts to reach the Oyo State Electoral Commission through the contact number provided on their website to confirm the reason for the delay proved unsuccessful. 

The delay in the arrival of electoral materials has raised concerns about the integrity of the electoral process and the ability of citizens to exercise their democratic rights effectively.

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