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#EkitiDecides: My Notion On Ekiti Gubernatorial 2022 Election

Observer Diary

The long-anticipated and every-day-discussed Ekiti gubernatorial election has finally come and it’s gone. It was more peaceful than expected and left behind a bag of happiness with the winners while the losers had to share bags of agony and grief.


Initially, the pressure over the feasible election turmoil had earlier kindled the fear in the minds of everyone before the election took place — on June 12, 2022, the Ekiti pre-election bloodshed violence had generated two days of tension. The word “terrifying and discouraging” would be the best adjective I can use to qualify the incident that happened a week before the election. But my passion for journalism obscured my fear as I saw observing the election as an opportunity to gather enough experience. 


Moreover, Nigerian elections are known to be more like a battlefield. It was relieving when I heard quite encouraging numbers of security personnel were deployed against Ekiti Election. Fortunately, I saw NSCDC buses trying to fuel their tanks on my way to my LGA Ikere Ekiti, that was a good signal that shows the security is tight.  


The D-Day


It was the day we’d been anticipating. As a first-time electoral observer, I woke up with mixed feelings — I can’t say if I was scared or anxious but at the same time, I was curious to experience my first election. A few minutes past 7 AM Sunday Awosoro and I took off already from our lodge to face the reality of the day.


My Grandpa’s words became my watchword for the day. He said “Oni rin s’ibi ti ibi ba wa,” which means “We won’t walk where there is evil.” 


Star boy, our bike man, who is an indigene of Ikere was quite conversant with the polling units and wards. Therefore, we didn’t have much stress locating them.


For the first four polling units we visited, I made sure there was no unnecessary space between me and my partner. Oh, it’s what you are thinking — yes, I was nervous and I couldn’t afford to see him beside me, behind me or in front of me. 


A few minutes later, I noticed the polling units we visited were peaceful, so we decided to split up to make our work faster. I enjoyed working alone but I made sure my partner was in the same ward with me, though at different polling units. 


Breach of COVID-19 precautions


INEC released a countdown graphics before the Ekiti State Governorship election where it was clearly stated that “Social distancing of two meters (6-feet) shall be maintained by everyone present at the polling unit and persons without a face mask shall be requested to leave the voting area”



It saddened my heart that many of the ADHOC staff and voters failed to adhere to the rules of using nose masks and maintaining social distance.


I will say the only place social distancing was observed was the polling unit with less than 30 electorate participants. In other polling units, the compliance level could be best described as 0.1 of 10. 


The violation of the protocols was obvious in all polling units, but none of the voters was requested to leave the voting area. I guess that’s because the POs refuse to be a good example by obeying the rules also. 

Vote-Buying and selling the new business of the day


Nigeria election, mainly known as battlefield before, has newly developed into “Governorship market day.” This is the new business of the day where voters have to sell their goods(votes) to their customers(party agents) with the highest bid.


It’s displeasing that our right to vote was being exchanged for limited cash that can’t sustain a household for two days in this economy. In ward 1 Atiba/Aafin and ward 2 Okeruku vote-buying were very prominent. APC whose bid was 12k, 10k and 7k respectively tends to have more vendors willing to sell to them than SDP and PDP whose bids are 3k and 5k respectively. 


I remembered between Ugele and Okeruku, after voting, they (voters) entered a hidden building where they came out smiling with cash in their hands. With ignorance, they advertise to their friends and relatives, who they should vote for listing the benefit behind voting. 


When I got to polling unit 003 Ward 06, Oke-Osun Ikere LGA, security personnel tasked me to either give him money or recharge him before I leave the polling unit. I smiled and made sure he didn’t see me when I was leaving the PU. 


Collation of Election Results


At exactly 2:00 pm, we began to go from one polling unit to the other to get the election results. All the polling units ended their elections at exactly 2:30 pm and started sorting the votes. 


We finished the coverage of all election results at the polling units. At exactly 6:00 pm, we got to the INEC LGA collation centre. I’ve always heard stories of how observers had to spend the night at the collation centre because it takes time. 

While waiting for the collation result of the various wards, I told my partner I would leave him once it was 8 pm because I was tired and hungry.  When INEC officials started setting up the collation room, it was looking interesting when I saw the projector being fixed. 


At 6:25 pm, the Ikere local government started the collation of the election results of the 11 wards. I noticed they didn’t spend up to 30mins on each ward aside from a ward that had to power their system.  


Thank God for Google Sheets. The process was fast, accurate and reliable. Before we knew it we had finished the collation of my Local Government area result at 8:19 pm. 


My partner and I called it a night at exactly 8:30 pm after which we headed back to our lodge.  


Hence, the first time I observed an election wasn’t bad. I learnt so many lessons, I had fun and met new people!


DISCLAIMER: This story has been published on Campus Reporter with very minimal editing to preserve the original voice of the author.

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