Governor of Borno State and a senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), for Borno Central, Kashim Shettima, said he is impressed with large turnout of voters in the ongoing election especially in Maiduguri, the state capital.
Mr. Shettima, who spoke shortly after casting his vote at his polling unit, Alhaji Kukawa, in Maiduguri told journalists that he never expected such a large turnout especially as the election-day was greeted with security challenges following attacks by Boko Haram.
“Honestly I was thrilled and happy by the mass of humanity that I saw this morning in most of the polling units especially as we were approaching my neighborhood. That to me, had a great deal of excitement in me because despite all the threat and intimidation by Boko Haram our people still defied Boko Haram to exercise their rights come out to choose their next crop of leaders.
He said his excitement about the large turnout wasn’t because of him.
“A voter that comes out doesn’t have vote for me; but I will be glad if a voter is free to exercise his franchise to vote for the candidate of his choice. And I think this portends great things to come for this nation. I will urge all those who are scared of coming out to vote feel free and come out en mass to vote for the candidates of their choice.
“We hope that the entire elections will be conducted in an atmosphere of peace and harmony because at the end of the day we all hope the decisions taken will help to take the nation to the next level.
“Whoever that wins we will all rally round that person to ensure that the person succeeds; because this is a nation of over 200 million people that require leadership and unity of purpose.”
On what he hopes the outcome of the election to be, governor Shettima said all his heart is with the APC.
“I don’t want to be partisan for now; but if given the preference I will love the APC to win and that is what we all hope for.
He said the election was generally peaceful and he owed that gratitude to God.
He said, “So far so good, we may have had some hiccups here and there; INEC has improved on its performance; it took me less than three minutes to be accredited and given the ballots papers to cast my vote. The last time in 2015, it took nothing less than 15 minutes to be accredited. I think deserve some commendation but it is too early to pass any judgment.
Mr Shettima is contesting the Borno Central Senatorial District and he is looked at to slug it out with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Abba Aji, who the senator for the district between 2003 and 2007.