The distribution of polling units by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is dampening the spirit of voters in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
In several wards, voters turned out in vast numbers to vote for their candidates. However, there is a massive disparity in the allocation of voters to polling units.
Hot Chairmanship contest in Gwagwalada
The chairmanship seat of the Gwagwalada council is hotly between the incumbent Vice Chairman, Kassim Mohammed of the PDP and former Council Chairman, Abubakar Giri of the APC.
Mr Giri served a single term until he was defeated in 2016 by Adamu Danze, the current chairman, who contested under the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Mr Danze and his deputy, Mr Mohammed, decamped to APC after the election.
Last year, Messrs Mohammed and Giri contested for the APC ticket. Following a series of controversies, Mr Giri was declared the winner of the primary.
Shortly after the primary, the incumbent deputy chairman decamped to the PDP, where he was given the ticket.
Poor distribution of polling units
Last year, INEC had announced the creation of additional 56,872 polling units across the country.
Unfortunately, most of the newly created polling units in Gwagwalada Area Council are not having an impact on the ongoing election.
In most polling units, the old PUs have thousands of registered voters, while the new ones have as low as three registered voters.
At PU 003, Health Clinic Open Space, Gwagwalada, there are 1,702 registered voters, with hundreds on the queue, while PU33 at the same location has six registered voters.
At Gwagwalada Town Hall, a similar situation was observed by PREMIUM TIMES.
While PU 004 (Old PU) has 1,932 registered voters, PU 037 in the same vicinity has 14 registered voters.
As of 12:22 pm, PU 004 still has over 200 people waiting to vote, while officials at PU 037 are waiting for voters to come.
The same thing was observed at Paiko. There are six polling units located in Paiko Kore Sarki Primary School.
PU 001 RA 06 has 2,572 registered voters. However, other units at the same Primary School, 006, 007, 008, 007 and 010 have combined total registered voters of less than 80.
Polling Officer for PU008, David Shiloba, while speaking with PREMIUM TIMES, said they have only eight registered voters in the polling unit. According to him, the eight voters showed up, but only seven could vote because the last person had yet to collect his PVC.
He added that they are waiting for the closing time, which is 2:30 p.m.
Unfortunately, the situation in PU001 is directly opposite of what is happening at PU 008.
As of 2:00 p.m., hundreds of voters are still waiting under the hot sun to cast their votes.
Adam Yunusa, the PDP agent at PU001, said the people are not deterred by the pace, adding that all they want to do is vote.
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