Low turnout as voting gets underway in Bauchi bye-election

FILE: Low turnout recorded for Bauchi South Senatorial bye-election in the northern state of Bauchi
FILE: Low turnout recorded for Bauchi South Senatorial bye-election in the northern state of Bauchi

The ongoing election in the state of Bauchi has been greeted by low turnout of voters, most of whom have opted to farm rather than partake in Saturday’s Bauchi South Senatorial bye-election.

Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) covering the election report that as at 9am, the number of voters that turned out for accreditation and voting was not impressive.

In Begel town of Dass Local Government Area, an official of INEC, Suleiman Abduljalal, a Presiding Officer II, told NAN that most of the voters had gone to the farm.

In Mararaba Liman Katagum town of Bauchi Local Government and some other rural areas, the turnout was also unimpressive for the same reason.

However, a polling agent of the Social Democratic Party and a native of Begel, Abduljalal Garba, told NAN in Bauchi that such development was anticipated whenever election took place during the farming season.

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“People normally go to farm in the morning, election or no election, but they will definitely come to cast their votes later in the day,” he assured.

In Tafawa Balewa town, Ezekiel Samson, a farmer who arrived late to the polling unit told NAN that he had to leave for his farm early morning.

“My farm first before voting. Most people have gone to the farm. They may come back to vote later,” he said.

In some polling units within Bauchi metropolis visited by NAN, voting commenced about 30 minutes behind the scheduled time of 8am, and turnout was also unimpressive as at that time.

At polling units in Yakubu Wanka, Kobi, Fadaman Mada and Tirwun areas of Bauchi metropolis, among others, INEC officials, security personnel and party agents told NAN that the process was going on peacefully, and expressed the hope that all would end well.

Bauchi South Senatorial District comprised of Bauchi, Tafawa Balewa, Toro, Dass, Bogoro, Kirfi and Alkaleri Local Government Areas.

The bye-election is being conducted, sequel to the death of the representative of the district at the senate, Ali Wakili, on March 17, 2018.

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