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Low turnout mars Borno Central Senatorial District by-election

Professor Mahmood Yakubu, new INEC Chairman
Professor Mahmood Yakubu, new INEC Chairman

BY ABDULLAHI ISAH, MAIDUGURI

Low turnout marred Borno Central by-elections, as most of the voters stayed indoors despite the vehicular movement restriction around the Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, where the election was held in the eight local governments that constitute the senatorial district.

Our correspondent who went round the town reports that most of the voters within Maiduguri metropolis remained indoors. However, the turn out in the Internally Displaced Persons’, IDP, camps was impressive, as the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, government in the state mobilized the IDPs to cast their votes.

An Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, official at one of the units in Zannari ward, said the turnout was low, as at 11:30 am he had only accredited 40 voters compared to over 400 during the 2015 general elections.

When asked whether the low turnout could be attributed to the bombings, he said no as the polling units were properly secured, but that it was just the voter’s apathy towards the election.

Speaking shortly after casting his votes, the APC candidate, Hon. Babakaka Garbai said he was impressed with the turnout of voters and the security arrangement put in place by the INEC so far and called on the electorates to conduct themselves maturely.

He said “the election so far is impressive; as the turnout is encouraging and I have not received any complaint from any of my agents. I think INEC, security and the electorates should be commended”.

Also addressing newsmen the senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Hon. Kaka Bolori, commended the turnout of the electorates but complained that on the INEC and the Police were aiding the APC, stressing that no matter how they rig, he knows that he is going to win, as the electorate are with him.

“I know they will try their best to rig the election. I am optimistic that I will still win a land slide victory, as the Borno Central District voters are still with me irrespective of political party affiliation. You know we went to all knocks and crannies of Maiduguri metropolis but the APC candidate despite the power of incumbency and security, they rejected him in many areas they went,” he stated.

A voter who cast his vote at the GRA Primary School polling unit 1, Mustatapa Modu said he came out and cast his vote in line with civic responsibility, as they cannot succumb to the threats of Boko Haram insurgency, because the days of the terrorists are numbered.

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