Contrary to what was obtainable during the February 25 presidential election, there were low turnouts of voters in some parts of Borno State on Saturday.
However, there were timely arrivals of Independent National Electoral Commission staff and materials across polling units in the state
The PUNCH gathered that election materials arrived at polling units between 6 am and 7 am across the Maiduguri metropolis and parts of the three senatorial zones of the state.
The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System also functioned properly and electoral officials were able to easily capture voters with the machines.
The PUNCH observed, however, there was low voter turnout at most of the PUs visited for the early situation report, a sharp contrast from what was obtainable during the presidential poll.
Reacting to the development, voters and party agents differed on the reasons for the low turnouts.
“We are already witnessing low turnout because voters were not happy that at the last election, they got what they did not search for,” a voter, Ibrahim Bala told our correspondent at Sir Kashim Ibrahim 001 PU near Shehu’s palace Maiduguri.
He said most people voted PDP, but APC was declared the winner of the election.
“You’re bound to have low enthusiasm because, in the presidential election, people voted for something but got something else,” Bukar Tijjani, the PDP agent at the PU alleged.
“We were proactive in making this observation some days to the election; that is why we went round the state consoling them and appealing to them to turn out and vote. So the situation may improve later in the day, but I can’t foresee anything impressive,” Tijjani added.
On his part, the All Progressives Congress agent in the polling unit, Ahmed Mustapha, described the low turnout as pathetic.
“Today’s turnout is much worse than what was obtainable three weeks ago. I can’t say the reason, but it is pathetic,” he said.
Modu Alkali and Musa Kolo, both voters at Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima’s polling unit, Alhaji Kukawa PU 023, Lamisula/Jabbamari Ward, Lawan Bukar, said there was a clear difference between presidential and governorship polls.
“There is bound to be higher enthusiasm in the presidential election because it was at a higher level of electoral competition. There was a particular candidate people wanted to vote for as president,” Modu Alkali explained.
“At the governorship election, people cannot be as enthusiastic because whether you vote or not, there is a preferred candidate that will win; so many voters believe they don’t even need to come out and vote.
“We don’t know what will happen before the end of the voting day, but people can’t be enthusiastic because they are tired of being given the person they did not vote for,” Musa Koko said.
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