Saturday, September 4, 2021 1:43 pm
Election into 19 out of the 23 Local Government Area (LGAs) of Kaduna State began on a slow lane on Saturday with reports of low turn out of voters, late arrival of polling officials across the state.
Also, there were complaints that some of the voting machines deployed for the exercise were not working as expected across the 19 local governments.
The Kaduna State Government had shifted the exercise in Birnigwari, Chikun, Zangon Kataf and Kujuru LGAs to Sept.25, for security reasons.
in Kaura Local Government Area, the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) failed to recognise some voters’ cards
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there was a low turn out of voters at most of the polling units.
At Ninyo Allah polling unit, the polling officer, Mark Jerry told NAN that they were yet to commence accreditation because of hitches with the EVM.
“We haven’t commenced accreditation and voting because the machine cant print.
“And we are trying to reach our supervising polling officer to inform him of the challenges, but we can’t get through to him,” he added
At Peter Laki polling unit, voting was yet to commence as the EVM was also acting incorrectly especially on the set date and time.
James Kanyip, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Government House who was at the polling unit to cast his vote, urged the electorates to be patient with the machines as it was only the second time it was being used in the state.
Kanyip urged the voters to vote wisely as their choices have consequences.
Also, non-arrival of election materials and electoral officers at various polling units in many parts of Sabon Gari Local Government Area of Kaduna state delayed the start of voting in the area.
Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who monitored the turnout of voters noted the presence of police and other security personnel at the polling units.
NAN also observed partial compliance with movement restrictions in Zaria as intra- and inter-state transporters were seen engaged in brisk business at various motor parks around Kwangila flyover.
Operators of commercial tricycle and commercial motorcycle operators were also seen operating in Zaria and Sabon Gari.
Responding to a question on why the delay in the commencement of the elections at 9:42am as scheduled, Malam Musa Iliya, the Electoral Officer of the State Independent Electoral Commission in Sabon Gari LGA, said the office had distributed election materials as at 8:00am.
Similarly, in parts of Zaria local government, voting began amid a low turnout of voters.
At some polling units at Fada in Zaria city, Electronic Voting Machine failures were experienced with some of them indicating that voting began at 1p.m. when it was not yet 9:30am.
Generally, voting began in a peaceful atmosphere in Zaria city.
Accreditation and voting in Saturday’s Council polls commenced behind schedule in most polling units in Kaduna North and Kaduna South Local Government Areas.
Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that officially, accreditation and voting were to start by 8am but as at 9.30 am, there were no Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission officials in Polling Units visited.
Out of the 22 Polling Units visited in Barnawa, Kakuri, Television, Kabala and some other areas, security agents were spotted in only two units, which election officials were not present.
At ungwan Muazu area of Kaduna South, there was slight apprehension over the change of voting unit, but the situation was brought under control.
Efforts to secure comments of KADSIECOM officials on the development was futile as they were busy attending to election matters.
However, in Igabi Local Government Area, the situation was different as election materials arrived at about 7.30 am in most Polling Units, with security personnel manning the Units.
Voters interviewed in Rigasa area of Igabi Local Government Area, commended the State Electoral Commission for a job well done.
Malam Sagir Umar, the Supervisory Presiding Officer, Rigasa Centre, with 26 Polling Units, said all election materials were despatched to the units around 7.30 am.
He expressed satisfaction with the presence of security personnel in all the voting units.
Election is taking place in 19 out of the 23 Local Government Area (LGAs) of the state, with the exercise in Birnigwari, Chikun, Zangon Kataf and Kujuru LGAs shifted to Sept.25, for security reasons.