• Sunday, September 24, 2023
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Voter apathy marks governorship, assembly elections in Yobe


The Governorship and State House of Assembly elections in Yobe State were characterised by low voter turnout while the process was generally peaceful.

Poll officials in most of the Polling Units monitored arrived before the official opening time of 8:30am and were waiting for voters to come and exercise their franchise.

Also the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) devices deployed for the polls worked optimally except in few places where there were glitches but resolved technical support staff.

That notwithstanding, most voters did not turn out to vote as some polling units were virtually empty at about 10:30am with only few who voted and were hanging around.

At PU009, Masalanchi Jumu’a Bolewa ‘A’ ward in Potiskum only 13 out of the 730 registered voters in the polling unit turned out as at 10:45 am.

Read also: Governor Bala promises to accept election result, if defeated

Also at PU040, Jerusalem in Damaturu, less than 10 out of the 500 registered voters came out to exercise their franchise more than two hours after the unit was opened.

The situation was the same at PU013, Water Board in Damaturu where only 36 voters reported for the election in the unit with about 2000 registered voters long after voting commence.

Similarly, only five out of the 277 voters for the PU008, Masalanchi, Potiskum were accredited and voted at about 11:00am.

Meanwhile, Governor Mai-Mala Buni of Yobe State has expressed optimism that he will win the governorship election freely and squarely.

The Governor stated this while fielding questions from journalists after casting his vote at about 10.00a.m in his country home, Buni Yadi.

He also expressed satisfaction with the turn out of voters to exercise their franchise and urged electorates across the state to conduct themselves peacefully.

”I am highly impressed with the turn out of voters here in this town, a right they were initially denied by insecurity.

“Buni-Gari, was an epicenter of Boko Haram insurgency, but today people are voting here peacefully, indicating that peace has returned and the people are here to cast their votes,” he said.

Abubakar Aliyu, the minister of power expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the election and urged the electorate to conduct themselves orderly throughout the process.

Aliyu who spoke with journalists after casting his vote in his Garin Maina polling unit in Potiskum expressed optimism that his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) would emerged victorious at the end of the polls.

He said: “As far as you can see, everything is going on well. Everyone is conducting himself very well with calmness and confidence. I have not seen anything that did not align with what is the expectation. You can see I came in less than a minute I got accredited and voted.

“All elections are very important and you know leadership positions are limited and we are so many we can not all be leaders at the top so we gather to select leaders that can represent us.

We did about two or three weeks ago for the President and that is over. We have elected our President and our National Assembly members. So we are back here again to do same for our Governor and State Assembly members. So this is how it is structured.

“As far as we are concerned, we very hopeful of our victory today. We have mobilised our people to come and vote and they are all out here. I am very optimistic that we are going to win.

“Peace; they should not have any rancour or any objection of the outcome. We are here seeing voting going peacefully. The law is being abided by and that will translate to a winner. All the times once there is competition, some win, some lost.

“So you don’t have to object to it when you come from the lossing side. Your time will come one day and you will be a winner. Ultimately, even if you are a winner, if you don’t manage success you turn to be a loser because it is not only the winning, it is what you are going to do after you have won. You are going in to represent the people.

“Are you going to represent them well or you are representing yourself as a selfish person. If you do that you have not won. Those that will win are those that will go in there and work for the people and pay back.”

However, a 89-year-old man, Baba Ba’abba expressed dissatisfaction over the failure of BVAS in his PU016 Unguwar Alkali, Bolewa ward of Potiskum.

Ba’abba, spoke in Hausa said: Our first election three weeks ago that is Presidential/National Assembly, did not give us problem like this one.

“Our BVAS that has responsibility to accredit us has a problem since today’s election commenced, it has not accredited four people since morning.

“I was the first person to join the queue by 7am; the election commenced around 8:00 am. Nine people were behind me, but only four of us were accredited; I was not among the accredited ones.”