From Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
There was low turnout of voters in Bauchi state as accreditation and voting process took off simultaneously in Saturday’s Governorship and State House of Assembly election amidst tight security.
Our correspondent who monitored the election across the state metropolis reports that many voters did not arrive their polling units until midway into the voting process.
Across many polling units in Bogoro local government where our correspondent visited, the turnout of voters was not encouraging as compared to the presidential and National Assembly elections in the state last week.
At Speaker Yakubu Dogara’s polling unit, Gwarangah Primary School in Bogoro local government with five voting points, the Assistant Presiding Officer, Miss Loveline Joshua, said that though they collected all the election materials as early as 6.00 am, voters did not turn up until 8.30 to 9.00 am.
“The INEC officials came out to this polling unit as early as 6.30am, but the voters did not turn up until 8.30 to 9.am. Some are still in their houses and are yet to come out to vote. So far the exercise has been going smoothly without any hitches,” she said.
The situation was the same in Muari and Lusa polling units as only few voters were seen queuing to vote, while other residents of the area were going about their normal businesses.
However, accreditation and voting were going on simultaneously with security men on standby.
The presiding officer in charge of Muari ward, Mr Joseph Lutshi, said that the exercise was going on smoothly, but that there was low turnout of voters, saying lack of enthusiasm on the part of the voters was responsible the development.
“By this time during the presidential and National Assembly elections, there was no open space here because voters were everywhere, but today, you can see that they are just coming gradually and we are still waiting for them.”
He also commended INEC for the use of card readers for the election, but advised that more card readers be made available in future elections.
Meanwhile, as at the time of filing this report, elections were going on smoothly in all the polling units located within the local government, while there was no report of violence.