By Laleye Dipo in Minna
The election of 25 local government council chairmen and 274 councillors kicked off across Niger state on Saturday with reports of late arrival of voting materials in several polling stations.
In Tafa, Chanchaga and Shiroro, materials and officials did not arrive polling units as at 10.30pm.
However, in several other stations polling commenced at exactly 8pm.
There was no report of malpractices or violence in areas where THISDAY monitored.
However, the turnout of voters was very low.
Also following the presence of adequate security, most of the electorate in areas affected by insurgence were able to cast their ballots.
The state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, cast his vote at the Alkali Mustapha Polling Unit in Kontagora after which he admitted that the turnout for the elections was low but expressed optimism that it may improve later in the day.
Bello cast his vote at about 12 noon.
“The turnout is low. However, during the last general election, initially there was low turnout but before the end of the day, there was improvement in the turnout. So I expect there will be an improvement,” he said.
He commended the people of the state and the State Independent Electoral Commission (NSIEC) for the peaceful conduct and organization of the election, saying he has not heard of any complaint or news of violence anywhere.
“I have not heard of any complaint. There is no major complaint anywhere in the state. I commend NSIEC for its organization and the peaceful conduct of the election. From what I have seen, they have coordinated the elections well,” the governor said.