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‘Ife by-election peaceful, credible’

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A cross-section of political stakeholders in Ile-Ife, Osun, have adjudged the by-election for Ife Central State Constituency’s seat in the House of Assembly as peaceful and credible.

Mr Biyi Odunlade, a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday that voters in neighbourhood had aptly demonstrated their level of political maturity and savvy.

Odunlade, a former Special Adviser to Gov. Rafiu Aregbesola on Sports and Special Needs, commended INEC for creating an enabling environment for the people to exercise their franchise.

He said that the early arrival of electoral officers at the polling centres had also facilitated the success of the by-election to a large extent.

In the same vein, Mr Olusegun Fanibe, the candidate of Accord Party, described the by-election as history in making, considering the determination of INEC officials and voters to ensure hitch-free polling.

Fanibe said that he was not desperate to win at all costs, saying that the constituents would always decide on “who gets what at any given time’’.

Besides, Mr Tilewa Sijuwade, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), expressed satisfaction with all the electoral processes, saying that the by-election had also been peaceful.

He, however, bemoaned the low turnout of voters, saying that it was a bad omen for the electoral process and a clarion call for political leaders to always intensify public awareness campaigns in the lead up to elections.

Meanwhile, Mr Olusola Ayodele, the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has described the whole electoral process as peaceful.

He said that the by-election was well-organised, while voters were quite eager to exercise their franchise, thereby reducing the chances of anyone fomenting trouble.