Kwara Governor

By Kehinde Akinpelu, Ilorin

By-election to determine who will represent the people of Patigi constituency at the Kwara State House of Assembly was marred with low turnout as electorate call for creation of more polling units in the local government area.

The exercise, which held in just one local government area that made up of the constituency, started around 8am with few electorates on queue waiting to exercise their franchise.

There was observation of low turnout of the electorate for the exercise in many polling units visited except some few, like; Gadazaba in Lade ward one, Dispensary center in Patigi ward three and Patigi central office in ward one.

Reacting to the causes of the low turnout of the electorate for the exercise, the state resident electoral commissioner, Mallam Garba Attahiru Madami said it was not unusual as the election was not a major one.

 “Low turnout was expected, because the election was not a major one and moreover, there was not enough time for preparation for it, we have to thank the National Orientation Agency, NOA, for their support in terms of sensitization campaign for the exercise”

Reacting after cast his vote, the People Democratic Party, PDP, candidate at the by-election, Mohammed Salihu Yahaya who voted at the same polling unit Gadazaba polling unit in Lade ward one with APC candidate, Hameed Adam Rufai, who he confirmed to be his male cousin, said “The large turnout of voters at our polling unit was a sign of love and excitement of producing next representative from our people,  irrespective of where the pendulum swung”.

Mohammed, also call for the creation of more polling units in the local government area said his people always pass through a lot of physical distress during an election like this, as result of distance they  have to trek before getting to their various polling centers, said “we appeal to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to give us more polling unit in Patigi local government, our people trek as much as 14 kilometers before getting to their polling unit and this distance even discourage some people from coming out to vote”

Added that, the population of registered voters in Gadazaba polling unit alone is enormous, said about seven villagers have to come to this polling unit for casting their votes.

Also addressing journalists after cast his vote was candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, Adam Hameed Rufai, who happen to be a junior brother to the late lawmaker, Saidu Hameed Rufai, gave kudos to the security agencies and INEC for the peaceful election.

The state commissioner of local government and chieftaincy affairs, Aisha Ahman Pategi, who is also from Patigi local government also collaborate the calls for the creation of more polling units in the local government area said “definitely insufficient polling unit is one of the challenges, it was expressed during 2019 general election, if more polling unit are created, it would make it more easier for electorate to exercise their right” She however applauded the electoral umpire and security agencies for the peaceful exercise.

In his observations, the State Director, National Orientation agency, Segun Adeyemi task INEC to improve on arrangement of materials at the polling units in their subsequent elections, most especially, on cubicle, which means to protect the voters while casting their votes.

He, however, applauded the INEC for timely distribution of election materials and described the bye-election to be peaceful one and expressed hope that the atmosphere would remain calm up to the collation center and announcement of the winner by INEC.

Reacting to the calls for the creation of more polling units, the INEC commissioner, said the national body of the commission is working on creation of more polling units across the country in line with calls from the electorates.

 “Yes, we are aware of the calls for the creation of more polling units and national body of the commission will do that before 2023 general elections” he said.

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By Mosvin Communications

Nation's Pride Newspaper is a production of Mosvin Communications located in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria.

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