Votes counting ongoing in Ondo

Accreditation and voting were held simultaneously.

Officials of the electoral body in Nigeria have begun the counting of votes at different polling units in the ongoing governorship election in Ondo State to choose a new governor to replace Mr Olusegun Mimiko.

Voters who had cast their votes, parties’ agents and security agents are observing the counting process undertaken by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Voting ended at about 2:30 p.m. local time in most polling units in the election that started at about 8:00 a.m.

Two of the four major contenders in the election have raised concerns over issues with card readers that had affected voting process in some polling units.

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu and that of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Eyitayo Jegede had after casting their votes urged INEC to address the issues.

INEC went ahead with the exercise despite calls for its postponement.

According to the Ondo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Olusegun Agbaje, voters have been educated on what was expected of them.

He said that security had been beefed up to ensure smooth flow of the process.

The Nigerian government says 26,000 policemen and 15,000 personnel from the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps have been deployed in the state to maintain law and order along with some army officers.

INEC says 1,659,186 voters are registered for the election, but 378,606 persons did not turn up to collect their Permanent Voter Cards.

About 28 political parties and their candidates are taking part in the election.

However, only about four of the parties are top contenders.

The new governor will be sworn in when Governor Mimiko’s tenure expires in February 2017.