Ondo, a state in the southwest zone of Nigeria, will produce a governor in, as the case may be, within 48 hours from Saturday, October 10.
The three major candidates for the election are the incumbent, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Eyitayo Jegede of the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi who is contesting for the seat on the platform of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).
Ajayi had dumped the APC and joined the PDP where he sought to raise the flag of the opposition party. He was beaten at the party's primary election by Jegede.
To achieve his goal of governing the state, he immediately proceeded to the ZLP, where he is being supported by a former governor, Olusegun Mimiko.
Just like it happened in Edo state weeks ago, there is currently a level of apprehension among the residents of the state as well as followers and loyalists of political parties.
As at Friday, October 9, Legit.ng could confirm that all the sensitive materials had been dispatched as required ahead of the exercise while the capital of the state, Akure, enjoyed relative peace after the candidates all signed an accord.
Voting ends in some polling stations, counting begins
In some polling units across Ondo, voting by the electorate has ended and the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are set to commence counting.
For example, an update from Akoko North West showed that voters are currently hanging around as preparation for ballot counting is ongoing.
Another case of vote-buying captured in video
Another case of alleged open vote-buying has been captured in a video around Akoko North West.
The video below shows this:
We have heard cases of vote buying - Mimiko
Former governor Olusegun Mimiko and leader of the ZLP commended the voter turnout at the ongoing governorship election in Ondo state.
Mimiko spoke with journalists after voting noting that he had heard of cases of vote-buying in some parts of the state.
An observer group had claimed earlier in the day that the level of vote-buying in the election far exceeds how it happened in Edo state.
According to the group, there are obvious cases of party agents openly buying votes and monitoring voters as they cast their ballots in some polling units in the state.
ZLP's candidate Agboola Ajayi casts his vote, raises alarm
The candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and deputy governor of Ondo state, Agboola Ajayi, has arrived at his polling unit 04, APOI ward 2.
Photos released on social media showed the moment he arrived to cast his vote amid tight security.
Ajayi alleged that security had been compromised while noting that the people of the state are ready to vote in an atmosphere of peace.
While noting that in every contest, a winner is sure to emerge, he pleaded that the process should be allowed to run freely and fairly.
“You can see the turnout that has been very encouraging here. But I want to also say that the way we have seen it here, the security arrangement is a bit compromised which is not exactly what happened in Edo state.
“I want to appeal to the security agents to live up to expectation, be neutral, see that every Nigerian’s vote counts," he said.
Confusion as card reader fails PDP's Jegede, wife
There was confusion at the polling unit of the candidate of the PDP, Eyitayo Jegede as the card reader failed to recognise his finger.
The card reader also failed Jegede's wife. This was after their daughter voted.
He, however, later voted at his polling unit.
Speaking about the incident, Jegede said:
“The commission should be asked why the card reader stopped functioning when it was his turn to vote.
“INEC is creating a problem. Their machine stopped working when it was my turn to vote. I have to protest and they said the machine was rectified.
“But despite all these hitches, there has not been major disruption. But I don’t know what is happening in remote areas.
“The turnout has been massive, voters conducted themselves well. Am aware there is a pocket of violence in the Ijomu area. I also heard of an incident of vote-buying.
“In Owo for instance, a former commissioner led thugs to attack one Sadiq Obanoyen and injured him in a patrol vehicle. These are incidences of violence. Unfortunately, it is happening. But by the grace of God, we will still win," Jegede said.
Akeredolu votes, shares regret
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu finally voted but expressed regrets over the rainfall that threatened to disrupt the election.
The governor, however, expressed optimism that he would win the election at the end of the exercise.
Rainfall disrupts election, voter materials destroyed
The governorship election was, in the morning of Saturday, October 10, disrupted by heavy rainfall. It was learnt that the voter register of some of the polling units were destroyed as a result of the rainfall.
Captured: Moments Senator Borofice arrives polling unit
Senator Ajayi Borofice, the elected politician representing Ondo North at the Nigerian Senate, has been captured on a video arriving his polling unit 5, ward 5, Oke Agbe, Agbe Akoko, Akoko South West.
Like Akeredolu, Borofice, a member of the APC, was clad in white attire and wore a face mask.
PDP's Jegede reportedly still on queue 2 hours after arriving polling unit
Eyitayo Jegede, candidate of the PDP at the ongoing governorship election in Ondo state, is still on the queue. It was learnt that Jegede kicked against an attempt to make him by-pass other voters.
He was said to have arrived the polling unit at about 9am and has stayed about two hours on the queue.
Alleged vote-buying captured in photos as group raises alarm
The Ondo election which is just starting is already being taken over by allegations of vote-buying.
CDD West Africa reported the alleged massive vote-buying by agents of some political parties and released a photograph as evidence. It added that this happened at the polling unit 8, ward 2 of Ilaje local government area.
Ex-Governor Mimiko arrives polling unit
The former governor of Ondo and leader of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Olusegun Mimiko, has arrived his Lodasa polling unit 20, ward 07 to cast his vote. A video by TVC captured the moment the former governor arrived the unit.
Governor Akeredolu arrives polling unit amid excitement from loyalists
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has arrived at his polling unit with wife at ward 05, unit 06, Ijebu 2 Owo, Ondo state to cast his vote.
Akeredolu arrived at the polling unit clad in white native attire just like his rival Eyitayo Jegede. He also spoke with journalists at the unit.
No election in 2 polling units in Ilaje area
Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism reports that no election is going on at the polling unit 3 and 4 of ward 4 in the Ilaje area.
Sporadic shooting reported at a polling unit in Akure
Legit.ng understands that there have been sporadic shootings around Pollíng Unit 11, Edo Lodge in Oke Ijebu, Akure. The Nation reports that the spokesperson of the police in Ondo state, Tee-Lee Ikoro, confirmed the incident.
According to the report, mobile police operatives have been deployed to the scene.
PDP candidate, Eyitayo Jegede arrives polling unit
The candidate of the PDP, Eyitayo Jegede, has arrived his polling unit at the Oba Adeshida Road, Akure with his wife. Jegede who was clad in white native attire with a cap and nose mask joined the huge number of voters in the unit as he waited to cast his vote.
In 2016, Jegede, who was an attorney-general of the state under former Governor Olusegun Mimiko, had, four years ago, contested against Rotimi Akeredolu.
It is learnt that his local government is the most densely populated and has the highest number of voters.
At the time of filing this report, voters were already on the queue to cast their ballots.
Voting commences, exercise currently peaceful
Information reaching Legit.ng indicates that actual voting has commenced in some polling units.
Situation room reports that in the Polling Unit 2, Ward 6 in Akoko South West, voting was about to begin at 8:29 am and voters were already conducting themselves in what has been described as an orderly manner.
At units 9 and 10, simultaneous accreditation and voting have started.
Group laments disregard for COVID-19 guidelines as residents troop out
The CDD West Africa has lamented the lack of strict adherence to the social distancing rule against COVID-19 as residents of Ondo state come out to cast their votes.
Photographs released by the organisation showed that many of the residents did not go to the polling units with face masks.
Meanwhile, in some polling units, electorates are already getting set to cast their ballot. Checking of names commenced as early as 8am.
Election officials, security agencies get set for polls
Some polling units so far assessed show that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies are set for the exercise. As early as 7.22 am, they had started taking charge of the process.
In some areas also, a list of voters was seen being pasted by the officials. There are security checkpoints across the state because of a restriction of movement imposed ahead of the election.
Boat carrying election officials, materials reportedly capsizes
A boat carrying officials of INEC and some other materials is said to have capsized in Ilaje local government area.
A video posted on social media showed some individuals with life jackets floating on the water in the heat of the ensuing confusion. Legit.ng confirms that some officials of Yiaga Africa, were also in the boat. At the time of this report, rescue efforts were being carried out.
Distribution of election materials commences
Very early on Saturday, October 10, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) commenced the distribution of election materials from Registration Area Centre (RAC) to polling units. One of such distributions happened inside Stella Marris College, Okitipupa.