OSOGBO – Voting has officially ended in the Osun State Governorship election.
Voting ended at polling units across the state by 2 pm with only those on the line at that time expected to vote beyond the time.
Electoral officials are now sorting and counting the ballots at the polling units., CHANNELS TV reports.
Residents of Osun State had commenced voting early across the state, with the objective of deciding who will succeed Governor Rauf Aregbesola.
People started turning out at polling units as early as 7 am and accreditation and voting commenced at polling stations visited by our correspondents in the three senatorial districts of the state by 8 am.
Activities at the polling units visited were peaceful with some voters and observers hailing the turnout as satisfactory.
Beyond affording the people of the state the opportunity to elect their governor, the election is considered as a final test for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the 2019 general elections.
There are more than 1.6 million registered voters, and three 3,010 polling units spread across 30 local government areas.
The race is also a big one as there are 48 candidates battling for the top job in the state.
An election observer with YIAGA Africa, Mr Samson Itodo, told Channels TV in the morning that the process commenced early and has gone on well so far.
“There are a few non-identification of fingerprints but what we can observe is the enhanced card reader that was deployed for this election is being used to recapture the fingerprints of voters whose fingerprints were not authenticated by the card readers. So far so good.”
He, however, said it was too early to assess the election.
More than an hour later, the president of the rights groups Women Arise for Change Initiative, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, praised the security agencies, residents of the state and the contestants for their conduct.
Odumakin, who is an observer for the election, spoke to our correspondent in Ife.
“There is massive turnout. We’ve also seen that the security agencies have displayed the highest level of professionalism for now,” she said.
She also, said the political players “have comported themselves for now” and that “INEC has lived up to expectation for now”.