Low voter turnout, apathy mar Adamawa council polls

A woman casting her vote

There was low turn out during the local government elections held in Adamawa State on Saturday.

Elections were held to fill the offices of chairmen for the 21 Local Government Areas and councillors for the 226 wards in the state.

Some residents linked the low turnout to uncertainties over the election based on the various legal hurdles the election faced.

Up till Friday, it was not clear whether the elections would hold following one of the court cases.

But the Acting Chief Judge of the state, Umar Bobboi, Friday, ruled that the elections be held, throwing out the suit seeking the suspension of the election by four plaintiffs sacked from the Adamawa State Independent Electoral Commission, ADSIEC.

The judge had earlier given an order restraining ADSIEC from conducting the election.

Visits to Guyuk, Demsa, Yola North and Lamurde Local Government Areas, during the elections, show that only few people turned out to vote.

Some residents said government’s decision to impose a public holiday, Friday, and then reverse it got them confused over the possibility of the election holding.

The ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, presented chairmanship candidates for all the 21 local councils while the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC presented chairmanship candidates for 12 local councils.

The elections were relatively peaceful as there was no reported major incident of violence across the state.

The Adamawa Police Command, through its Public Relations Officer, Ibrahim Mohammed, said interim reports from police officers across the state confirmed that elections were peaceful in all the local governments.

There were also few complaints of irregularities as at press time. However, at Numan Local Government Area, the ACN chairmanship candidate, Pithon Power, complained of late arrival of electoral materials and insufficient voting materials in his council.

In Lamurde, the returning officer, Hamandama Modibbo, debunked similar complaints of inadequate voting materials.

He said the claims were untrue as the electoral body made sure each polling unit was given ballot booklets in line with number of registered voters they have.

He, however, stated that the only place were there was a genuine case for ballot shortfall was in Suwa and that the electoral commission took every step to address the matter.

 


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