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Govship Election: Borno Records Low Turn Out of Voters at PollingUnits, Voters Lament on Electioneering Campaigns Promises

By Ahmed Abu, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri

The Saturday, 9th March 2019 Governorship and State House of Assembly elections have taken a new dimension with low turn out of voters at the polling Units against the high expectations of the political candidates.

Elections which started early this time around against the last presidential and national assembly elections where despite the cancellation or postponement of the elections in many polling Units across the country, started between 10-11 am while this time around, the second 2019 general elections started between 8-9 am in most places indicating that INEC has improved on its logistics and prompt delivery of election materials to polling Units on time.

In Maiduguri city, the Borno State capital, the situation was worse than that of the presidenttal election as the governorship election faced low turn out and even in some places absence of eligible voters at the polls while INEC adhoc Staff, security and election materials were available and intact.

The election was generally peaceful and smooth but greeted by very low turn out of voters where political observers were of the opinion that the outcome of the election will be very poor and low figure as people failed to come out to vote this time around.

When our correspondent went round some polling Units in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC), Jere, Mafa and Konduga local government areas of Borno state, it was observed that most of the electoral workers at some polling Units were idle and sitting down in the waiting for eligible voters.

While in some of the polling Units they recorded 18-23 votes as at 10-10.30 am but the presiding officers said the electoral process was peaceful and orderly.

Few of the ad hoc staff in areas like London cikin,, Shehuri North, Limanti , Mafoni and Banaganaram areas said the electoral process was orderly, peaceful and they enjoyed support and cooperation of the electorates including the security agents provided by the police, civil defence, army and others

Presiding officers at Gomari Bus Stop I, II and III as well as Lawan Jiddah I and II said all the needed electoral materials were available and adequate while all the ad hoc staff, security agents and party agents were available, supportive and cooperating but what worried them more was the low turn out of electorates on queue to vote.

Mohammed Ahmed, one of the Presiding officers said the voters were coming gradually without any problem but the turn out is very poor and seem not as that of the last presidential election."

"The enthusiasm is not there again with the people and they feel reluctant to come out and vote and not that there is any problem. We have no problem and have not heard of any logistics issues with smart card reader and ballot papers. All are intact and functiining.",Ahmed said.

While an electorate at Gomari III Polling Unit, Adam Masa, a tailor and resident of Gomari said," We learnt that the election is predominated with low turn out of people or refusal of voters to come out to vote this time around is due to the fact that last election results were alleged to have been rigged or manipulated although there was no cases of snatching of ballot boxes in this state".