Supplementary Poll: Large turnout of voters in Bauchi

March 23, 2019
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The supplementary elections being organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 36 polling units across 15 local governments of Bauchi State has so far witnessed large turnout of voters.

In some of the polling units visited by our reporter, voters arrived the polling units as early as 7.30 a.m.

Polling officials who arrived their respective stations commmenced voting processes as early as 8 a.m.

Unlike the previous elections held two weeks ago, the voters’ turnout was impressive.

Most of the polling be units were surrounded by armed police, civil defence and SSS operatives.

At Kagadama polling Unit 004 in Dott ward of Dass local government, the electoral officials said they had no issue with their card readers, a reason they cited for the fast accreditation and voting process.

Some of the voters on queue informed PREMIUM TIMES that they came out as early as 7a.m. to cast their votes.

Many of them said they decided to defy the scorching sun to exercise their franchise.

“This supplementary elections gave us a rare opportunity to reaffirm our position after some persons robbed us of our ballots,” said Hannatu Usman, a resident of Dott village.

“So we have mobilised ourselves this time around to tell the world that no one can trample on our freewill. This large turnout is a manifestation of our commitment to ensure change in Dass local government and especially, Kagadama polling unit.”

Observers Commend Security

Local observers at the Kagadama polling unit 004 commended security agencies for ensuring a peaceful conduct of the supplementary polls.

Suleiman Hassan, a domestic observer, said “We were all amazed when we came out here to meet a large turnout of men and women all on queue even before the exercise commenced.”

The turnout surpassed those of presidential and main governorship elections held weeks ago. It was very orderly and the security have been impressive.

Even when some politicians wanted to undermine the process at about 9.30am, the police and SSS were up to their game by effectively controlling the situation and chasing those trying to invade the centre away. There are 872 registered voters in Kagadama polling unit, and going by the turn out, more than 50 percent of the voters had turned out.

Dass LG chairman chased out of polling unit

The caretaker chairman of Dass local government council, Ado Maigoro, was chased out of the Kagadama polling centre by angry voters as he attempted to invade the voting arena with a large number of persons believed to be political thugs.

Mr. Maigoro, a staunch loyalist of the Bauchi state Governor, Muhammed Abubakar, arrived the polling unit alongside some vehicles filled with suspected political thugs.

His presence angered the voters who began to protest against his arrival.

The situation was almost going out of hand until the security personnel managed to put it under control by ordering him and his crew to leave at once.

“The local government chairman came with the thugs who are not accredited voters in this polling unit. We don’t know them and we immediately insisted they leave. Thank God the police helped us to usher them out,” said Hassan, one of the domestic observers.

Efforts to get Mr. Maigoro to explain why he was at the polling unit with suspected political thugs was not fruitful, as he hurriedly left the voting centre.

Voters in Mallar polling unit of Bogoro LGA refuse to leave after casting their ballots

It was also a large voter turnout in Mallar polling unit of Bogoro Local Government area of Bauchi state.

Bogoro is the home local government area of the Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.

A stronghold of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), most of the voters in Mallar, about 85km away from Bauchi, hung around after casting their votes.

Electoral officials were seen idling away as most of the voters who sat down in camps under shade of trees after casting their ballots, had all cast their voted as at 12.45pm.

“We are waiting to hear the results of our votes and no one moved until that is done,” said Monday Yusuf.

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