Contrary to reported deployment of 12,000 security agencies for the ongoing local government elections in Oyo State, policemen and other security agents were conspicuously absent on major roads within Ibadan metropolis.

Besides, the restriction order placed on human and vehicular movements appeared not to be effective, as people and vehicles were seen moving freely within the city.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Adebola Hamza, said on Friday that no fewer than 12,000 security personnel had been deployed for the local government elections.

Hamzat, at a joint media briefing by heads of security agencies and Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC), said the personnel included 8,000 policemen and 2,125 from other security agencies, excluding the military.

The police commissioner also said there would be a restriction on vehicular movement from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

However, NAN correspondents, who moved round Ibadan city on Saturday morning, observed that the police and other security agents were conspicuously absent.

As of 7:45 a.m., no security agent was seen from General Gas to Dugbe, while at Iwo-Road, Challenge, Apata, Bere, Gate, Ido, Omi-Adio, and other major areas, they were nowhere to be found.

NAN also observed that people were moving freely with their private cars, while commercial drivers and motorcycle riders were busy carrying passengers from one part of the metropolis to another.

Passengers were also seen waiting at different bus stops for commercial vehicles, tricycles, and motorcycles to convey them to their various destinations.

Some artisans, including vulcanizers and plumbers, were doing their business unhindered.

Some traders also opened their shops, signifying that it was business as usual, notwithstanding the ongoing local government elections.

The elections also witnessed late arrival of electoral officials and materials at most of the polling stations.

As of 7:30 a.m., some electoral officials were still waiting for election materials.

They were seen at Ibadan North-West and Ibadan South-West Local Government Areas at Onireke and Oluyole, respectively, collecting election materials to be used for the exercise at various polling units.

At polling units 19, 20, and 21 in Ward 10 of Ibadan South-West council area, no electoral official had arrived, and there was no voting material on ground either as of 8.05 a.m.

Also at polling units 14 and 15, Ward 11, Ibadan South-West, no OYSIEC ad-hoc staff had arrived as of 8.30 a.m., except one policeman and a party agent who were sighted at the place.

Names of voters had also yet to be pasted on the walls, while there was nothing indicating that the place was a voting centre, except for two party agents who were seen at the polling units.

Food vendors were also seen opening their make-up shops and cooking around some polling stations, waiting for potential buyers.

Government contractors were equally seen working on the median on the Ring Road-Mile 110 axis, while children were already gathering in some streets to play football.

April 27, 2024

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