The Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Timothy Owoeye, has expressed disappointment over the conduct of the election in the Ilesa East Local Government Area of the state.
He is also seeking re-election to the state Assembly from the Ilesa East State Constituency.
Owoeye, who spoke to journalists immediately after casting his vote at his Ward 10, Polling Unit 6, Ilesa East, alleged the ill-treatment of All Progressives Congress, APC, members by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
In his words, “I am not satisfied with the conduct of PDP members in Ilesa East. They’ve started since morning to chase away APC members and supporters from the voting line.
“Some of our members who have been in the queue in Ward 4, 5, 6 and even in Ward 8 were macheted this morning, and have been rushed to the hospital.
“I don’t know what the election is turning to. When one party is chasing away members of another party who have come out to vote for candidates of their choice
“I don’t know what the security operatives are doing.”
Responding, Sunday Bisi, a former PDP chairman in Osun, debunked Owoeye’s allegations describing them as lies.
“Let me just be sincere with you. Mr Speaker is telling lies. The APC has been terrorising the people of Ilesa East.
“The security personnel can attest to it. Most of our members have been chased away from most of the wards. They have macheted and chased away most of our members.
“The irony of it is that it is the Speaker who is leading all these thugs.
“The Electoral Act stipulates that when you cast your vote, you either stay at the polling units, or you go back home.
“In my ward, Ward 1, Ilesa East local government, the turn out would have been impressive, but because of the shooting and everything, people are running helter skelter. People want to save their lives.”
Reacting to the allegations of Speaker Owoeye, the spokesperson of the Osun State Police Command, Yemisi Opalola, maintained that security personnel are on ground in Ilesa though they may not be in massive numbers.
“Our men are there though we may not have a massive number of policemen, and we have given numbers out in case they have an overwhelming situation.
“We have standby personnel that will go to such places and counter any challenge.”
She revealed that calls complaining of voter harassment had been received, and action has been taken on it immediately.
“Election is not war. We are brother and sister and related one way or the other in this state and after the election, we will still meet again. Please let it be peaceful and let anybody that will win, win and let’s pray for that person to do us good.”
The Command had, in a press statement signed by Opalola on Friday, issued numbers; 08039537995, 08075872433, 08123823981, PPRO: 08067788119 for the public to report any police officer and other security agents found performing illegal duties or any impostor, parading himself/herself as a police officer or any other security agent during the poll to the appropriate authority for proper sanction.
On the detention of some travellers by security personnel in some parts of the state, Opalola stated, “Nobody should go anywhere with a car or vehicle but rather walk to the polling units they want to vote. Anybody caught will be detained until the end of the election before they will be released.
“Apart from that, the vehicle will be impounded and will not be released to such individuals even after the election.
“We have sent out our press release before yesterday but people are still adamant.”