Barring any dramatic change, Governor Olusegun Mimiko who is the candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in Saturday's governorship election in Ondo State may have secured the ticket for a second term in office as early results collated in many polling units across the state indicated that the governor is leading his closest rivals, Olusola Oke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Action Congress of Nigeria candidate, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
Also, result from Akeredolu unit in Ward 5 unit 2 in Ijebu Owo indicated that he lost to Mimiko. In the polling unit, LP scored 144, ACN 139 while PDP scored 35. However, Oke beat Mimiko and Akeredolu in his ward, Ilaje Ugbo ward 3 by scoring 178, ACN 13 while LP came a distance third with 3 votes.
In Mimiko's Ward 7 unit 20 in Ago Itunu, LP scored 348 votes, ACN 16 votes while PDP scored 13
Other early results are:
- Ward 9 unit 2 Apurere Ondo East: LP 76 PDP 37 ACN 19
- Idanre LG Alade Ward2 unit: 10 LP 203 PDP 19 ACN 40
- Ilutun Ward 2 Ilado1: LP 43 PDP 33 ACN 20
- Ese Odo Apoi Unit: LP 48 ACN 6 PDP 12
- Okitipupa LG Iditali: 1 LP 33 PDP 12 ACN 5
- Akoko S/East Ward 7 Unit: LP 57 PDP 31 ACN 23
- Ifedore LG Igbaraoke 2: LP 102 ACN 30 PDP 19
- Ondo West Ilunla/Bagbe Ward: LP 87 PDP 20 ACN 27
- Akoko SW Supare2: LP 48 PDP 34 ACN 19
- Akoko Nwoyin Oge Ward Unit: LP 15 ACN 14 PDP 2
However, amidst heavy presence of security provided by several security agencies, during the election, the state witnessed peaceful election as voters trooped out to cast their votes for their choice candidate who will rule the state for the next four years.
At most places visited in Akoko Area in Ondo North Senatorial District, election materials arrived polling units as early as 7.45am as accreditation of voters started immediately while voting commenced at exactly 12.00pm.
Though, other materials got to most polling units early in Akure, the state capital, the ballot papers got late to Ajipowo and Danjuma area due to reasons that had not been explained as at the time of filling this report.
In Ondo town, which is the hometown of Mimiko, voting was very smooth and orderly except for the arrest of one Oni Samuel, who was said to be an agent of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at Unit 22 Ward 7 behind Jolaco Filling Station, with about 100 voter's cards.
Also in Owo, the hometown of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, the State Commissioner for Special Duties, Hon Niran Sule-Akinsuyi was said to have been arrested by soldiers, who allegedly found arms in his vehicle.
However, the Commissioner of Police deployed to the state for the election, Mr Ndabawa Mohammed, said that though he was aware of the rumour but could not confirm the arrest, he said that if anybody was arrested, the soldiers are supposed to hand over the person to the police saying nobody had been handed over to them.
At Igbotako in Okitipupa Local Government, PDP candidate, Chief Olusola Oke was said to have been detained for more than one hour for allegedly violating the law on the restriction of movement. He was however later released by the soldiers.
But responding, the Special Adviser to Olusola Oke on Media and Publicity, Mr Kunle Adebayo, said Oke was not arrested nor harassed by security forces.
"This is a wicked story planted by desperate politicians liars, alarmists and confusionists who are trying to make sensational news out of an ordinary and harmless event which is not in breach of security protocols," he said.
According to him: "Chief Oke was early this morning passing through Igbotako en route Ilowo, Ilaje Local Government his country home. As legitimately expected, his convoy of security details and essential staff of not more than three were stopped for routine security protocols which include questioning and identification..
"This was thorough and professionally done by the highly civil and decent security men. Nothing incriminating was found in possession of the convoy.
"The PDP candidate dutifully proceeded later with his journey and arrived Ilowo, in the riverine area where he was accredited and voted accordingly.
"Chief Olusola Oke was not detained, indicted, harassed or booked for any infraction. We challenge the fabricators of the sensational report to provide evidence to the contrary."
At Akungba, in Akoko South West Local Government Area, a middle age man was arrested while trying to go through the process of accreditation in two places at different times.
In the riverine Ilaje and Ese-Odo Local Government in Ondo South Senatorial District, THISDAY gathered that there was no voting in some areas.
In Ojigbobini/Igboran Arogbo Ward 2 unit 10, it was learnt that voting did not take place because the INEC officials could not get speedboat to take them to the voting centres.
A credible source also revealed that there was tension in the area, which might accounted for non-voting in the area.
Equally, THISDAY gathered that there was no voting in Ugbo Ward 2 because INEC did not show up despite the presence of security agents at the place.
At Igbaraoke and Ilara in Ifedore Local Government, accreditation and voting commenced as schedule in a peaceful manner.
After voting in Idanre, the Commissioner for Information Mr Kayode Akinmade commended President Goodluck Jonathan for living up to his promise that the Federal Government would ensure free, fair and credible election in the state.
Other reporters Chucks Okocha and James Sowole.