Low turnout mars Bauchi LG elections


The local government elections held in Bauchi State on Saturday recorded low turnout of voters across the state.

Our correspondent who monitored the election reports that voters did not turn up at the polling centres as expected.

In Alkaleri Local Government, electoral officers and voters lamented late arrival of materials.

The Nation observed that electoral officials were still collecting ballot papers and boxes as at 10am at the local government election materials distribution center.

In an interview with newsmen, a presiding officer of Alkaleri Central Primary School polling unit, Ukasha Abubakar, said the delay in the commencement of the election is not unconnected with the distance between each polling unit.

He regretted that it took a long time before the electoral materials reached some units.

He, however, promised that the election would start at the polling station as soon as voters are accredited.

In Misau Local Government with about 197 polling units across 16 wards, sensitive materials were also not distributed on time, as allegations of fake ballot papers delayed distribution.

As at 10:00am, electoral officials were queuing at BASIEC office in Misau to transport ballot papers and other materials to the 16 wards of the LGA.

Meanwhile, Governor Bala Mohammed has described the conduct of the local government election in the state as peaceful and in accordance with the electoral act guiding the operations of the State Independent Electoral Commission.

The governor cast his vote at about 12:30pm in his hometown, Alkaleri LG at the Central Primary School in Duguri alongside his wife, Hajiya Aisha Bala Mohammed.

According to him, the conduct of the council polls is in fulfilment of his campaign promises.

“I have seen how the election is going on smoothly and peacefully and I thank people of Bauchi for their compliance to electoral guidelines.”

He added that the State Independent Electoral Commission is conducting its responsibilities without any interference from the state government.

“So far there is no incident. The Board of SIEC was set up by my predecessor and I allowed them to continue, believing that they are Bauchi State indigenes and it is not about partisan exercise, but about making sure we go for the rule of law and those in the Commission should not be partisan.”