Late arrival of election materials, officials mars Abuja council elections


Residents of the Nigerian capital elect council officials.

Late arrival of voting materials and officials of the Independent National Electoral commission, INEC, in many polling stations nearly marred the Federal Capital Territory local council elections held on Saturday in Abuja.

The correspondents, who monitored the election, report that accreditation started late in many of the polling units, particularly at the city centre.

At polling units 024, 025, 026, and 027 in Maitama, accreditations did not start until about 10.30 a.m.

Youths in the area took advantage of the restriction in movement to play football in some of the open spaces, while there was heavy presence of security men.

At Galadimawa in Kabusa, accreditation started at 10.25 a.m. due to late arrival of materials, and officials, but security was tight with an impressive turnout of voters.

Accreditation did not start at Aleita until 10.40 a.m. as the materials and officials did not arrive on time.

Many voters, who came out early, went back home out of frustration.

At Kuchigoro and Karonmajigi Primary School on Airport Road, Abuja, accreditation did not start until 9.30 a.m.; however, turnout of voters was impressive in all the polling units in the area.

At the Gwarinpa Primary School, low turnout of voters was recorded with accreditation starting late at 9.30 a.m. An electoral officer, Adediran Ofonime, however, said that the time for accreditation would be extended to take care of all the voters.

At LEA Primary School, Dutsten Apo, there was no INEC staff as at 8 a.m., while some children took advantage of the restriction on movement to play football. However, policemen seen around the area.

At Wuse Zone 6 Primary School in the city centre, accreditation did not start as at 9.30 p.m., as there was no INEC official and no materials.

Also at the Galadima Village Centre, Gwarinpa polling unit 013, accreditation started at 9.50 a.m., with large turnout of women.

The INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, who visited Polling units 024, 025, 026 and 027 in Maitama, expressed concern over the late commencement of accreditation in some polling stations.

Mr. Jega promised to do everything in his power to ensure that the materials got to the polling station.

There was large turnout of women in Abaji Council Area of Abuja, particularly at the Ayaura Polling Unit, where the turnout of women, covered in their Hijabs, was very impressive.

Accreditation commenced at 8.05 a.m. there with an impressive turnout of voters, while security, men, electoral officials and materials were in place.

There was also reported large turnout of women in Gida Mangoro polling unit at Idu, where accreditation also commenced on time.

There were long queues of voters, particularly women, who were asked to form their own queues.

At the Kuje Area Council, accreditation started at 8 a.m. with civil society organisation and security men monitoring the proceedings.

At the Ugwan Bawa Polling Station in Nynayna, there were electoral officials as at 8.30 a.m., while security personnel were present with low turnout of voters.

At the Gwagwalada Council Area, there was an impressive turnout of voters, while accreditation started on time.

At Tunga Maje Village, near Zuba, materials arrived on time. Accreditation started at 8.30 a.m., with orderly conduct of voters with the police and some soldiers on ground.

At Bwari, in the LEA Primary School Unit, accreditation started at 8.30 a.m. with an impressive turnout of voters. Traders took advantage of the large turnout of voters to make brisk businesses, mostly soft drinks, and light food such as rice, and package water.

At the Abaji North-East polling unit of Ayaura, traders were seen selling beverages, and other foodstuff.

At Karimo polling unit near the Market, skeletal services were also going on, where meat sellers and road side hawkers made quick sales.

At Gwagwalada, in the Angwan gede polling unit, traders also cashed in on the impressive voters turn out to do fast business.


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