ADO-EKITI – The returning officer, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Oyebode Adebowale, has declared Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, former Ekiti State Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and the Governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the Saturday, June 18, 2022 Ekiti State Governorship election, as the winner of the Ekiti governorship election.
Declaring the winner, Prof. Oyebode Adebowale, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) returning officer, said Oyebanji polled a total of 187, 057 to win the election.
Adebowale said that Oyebanji had certified the law and was, therefore, declared the winner.
His words, “That I, Prof. Oyebode Adebowale, hereby certified that I am the returning officer of the Ekiti 2022 Governorship Election held on June 18.
“That Biodun Oyebanji, the candidate of APC, having satisfied the requirements of the law, is hereby declared the winner and returned”.
While giving the breakdown of the total votes scored by the participating political parties, the INEC returning officer, who is also the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, said the APC won 15 out of the 16 local government areas in the state and polled 187,057 votes.
He stated that Mr. Segun Oni of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, scored 82, 211, to come second.
According to Prof. Adebowale, others participants in the election were Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Chief Bisi Kolawole, who polled 67,457; Accord (A) scored 166; African Action Congress (AAC) 409; All Progressives Grand Alliance,(APGA) 17 while Action Democratic Congress (ADC) polled 141 votes.
Also, the Action Democratic Party (ADP) scored 5,597; Allied Peoples Movement (APM) -290; Labour Party (LP) polled 195 votes; New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) scored 529 and National Rescue Movement (NRM) 347.
The rest were, Young Progressives Party (YPP)-618; All Peoples Party (APP) polled 1,980 and Zenith Labour Party,(ZLP) polled 282; Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) polled 856.
According to the INEC Returning Officer, the total numbers of registered voters were 989,224, accredited voters, 363,438, valid votes were, 351865 and voided votes were 8888.
However, the Ekiti South West Local Government area Collation Officer, Prof. Gbolagade Jonathan, said there were issues of ballot snatching at Ward 6, Units 5 and 7.
Jonathan, while giving his reports, said they were about to sort the results when gunmen stormed the affected units and started shooting sporadically, making the people run for safety, while they carted away the ballot boxes in the process.
He explained that the two affected units had a total number of accredited voters of 266 and 128 respectively.
It was scooped that the APC supporters trooped out to the streets in the early hours of Sunday, June 19, 2022 to celebrate the victory in the dead of the night.
Also, in Ikogosi-Ekiti, Ekiti West Local Government Area, where Oyebanji hails from, residents started to celebrate the victory of their kinsman at the poll.
Residents of Ikere-Ekiti, where Oyebanji’s running mate, Mrs. Monitade Afuye, hails from, also began celebrating as the results were announced by the respective local government Returning Officers.
However, observers of the just-concluded election have decried the alarming incidents of vote-buying recorded at various polling units at the governorship election in Ekiti State.
According to a statement issued by the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) in conjunction with ICIR and other media platforms, the number of electoral offences observed at various polling units include bargaining prices for votes, payments made in uncompleted buildings and bags of foodstuff being shared after votes have been casted.