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Supplementary polls: Voters apathy, anger, late arrival of materials characterise exercise

 

By Suleiman Adamu, Sokoto

Late arrival of materials in addition to seeming voters apathy at some polling units for the Saturday NASS supplementary elections in Sokoto state characterised the exercise.

Besides , there was anger amongst voters who could not hide their concerns over the delay even as women turnout remain impressive across polling units amidst improved security and movement restriction arrangement jointly monitored by personnels.

Dr Balarabe Kakale Shuni, member representing Bodinga/Dange Shuni /Tureta Federal Constituency who spoke to reporters monitoring the exercise at polling unit 017, expressed dismay in disappointment over the electoral umpire’s(INEC) action.

Kakale , a former Health Commissioner in Sokoto state who noted that the trend was discouraging , disclosed that a formal protest had been registered before INEC.

He said despite the assurances by INEC to conduct free, fair and credible supplementary polls, the electoral umpire failed to show same by its action.

” The election ought to have started by 8:am but the election materials are yet to arrive at polling units as at 10:am.”

Although, at Magajin Gari Ward B, Garkan Alkali Yahaya polling unit 003 in Sokoto North, election commenced at 9:am , an hour behind starting time as the Presiding Officer, Abdullahi Garba confirmed BVAS was in order and working smoothly for accreditation.

In the same vain, Kakale allegedly described INEC’s action as ploy tilted at rigging the exercise.

He urged the electoral body not to deny voters their right to franchise adding” INEC should allow the will and wishes of electorate prevail”

The PDP lawmaker who also noted that most of the BVAS machines were malfunctioning, added ” even the adhoc staff on ground to man the machines were inexperienced.”

” Huge resources had been committed for INEC to conduct the exercise but you can see what is happening. The adhoc staff are not well trained for the exercise”, he observed while lamenting .

According to him” almost everywhere is the same experience . Amanawa, Dange, Shuni among others”, he mentioned.

Meanwhile , in Yabo and Bodinga LGs where the exercise was in progress , Aminu Usman and Maryam Mukhtar who cast their votes, said the exercise was peaceful and commended INEC and security agencies for ensuring security.

” Unlike in the last exercise, this one is absolutely peaceful without tension or fears of threats”, they noted.

End.

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