Armed thugs, allegations of voter intimidation characterise Kano supplementary elections

March 23, 2019
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Armed thugs were seen in many polling units visited on Saturday morning during the supplementary governorship election in Kano State.

Many voters and supporters of a political party claimed the thugs were there to intimidate them from voting.

A PREMIUM TIMES reporter who observed the elections witnessed the presence of the thugs with various weapons such as sticks and knives around some of the polling units visited in Rimin Gado Local Government Area and other parts of Kano.

“High presence of political thugs with heavy weapons is observed in all the polling units visited so far.

“However, they stay a distance away from the polling units,” said Sani Tukur, a journalist observing the elections.

When Mr Tukur and other journalists arrived Rimin Gado, they were confronted by residents who alleged that “no election is going on anywhere because all the ballot papers have been pre-thumb printed.”

Also, a member of the House of Representatives for Gwale constituency, Garba Disu, arrived the Divisional Police Station in Rimin Gado and complained that “all the ballot papers have been thumb printed.”

However, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Zamfara state, Asmau Sani, who is one of three RECs deployed to Kano to help in the conduct of the elections, said everything was going on normally.

She spoke in an interview with journalists at Atawa village of Rimin Gado Local Government Area.

“So far so good, everything is going on smoothly,” she said.

Before the journalists left Rimin Gado, they observed that the thugs had moved away from the polling booths but were still seen within the voting area, a situation that could intimidate many voters.

In Rimin Gado local government, elections are taking place in Attawa, Tammawa, Dika, Gulu, Rimin Gado and Jilli.

Apart from Kano State, supplementary governorship elections are also holding in Sokoto, Benue, Bauchi, and Plateau states.

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