Written by Sarah NEGEDU, Austine ELEMUE, Ateed YUSUF

Poll: Abuja records 15% voter turnout · APC sweeps FCT councils

Reports from across the six area councils of the Federal Capital Territory indicate that low turnout of voters characterized the just concluded chairmanship and councillorship election in the territory. 

Our correspondents who monitored the exercise in different locations also gathered that the turnout of voters was put at 15 percent in the rural areas, while the city center recorded about 8 percent voter turnout.

Meanwhile, due to poor turnout of voters, ad hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, were mostly sleeping at their duty posts, just as many families used the period for physical exercise like jogging. 

Though, electoral materials arrived as early as 8.30am in most polling units visited, but few voters have turned up at the Nyanya Market Polling Units to begin accreditation and voting procedure. 

The voters who came out to exercise their franchise attributed the poor turnout at the area council elections to poor performance of the current elected chairmen and councillors.

Others, who complained about poor provision of amenities, said they merely came out to exercise their civic responsibility. 

However, others blamed poor voter education for the apparent apathy, saying media coverage of the area council elections was very low when compared to the Presidential and National Assembly elections. 

While others were of the view that their votes did not count in the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections, hence no point coming out to vote.   

The Presiding Officer at Area A1 polling units 008 and 009, who refused to disclose her name, as at 10:30am, said that voters were trickling in, while the PDP party agent expressed shock at why people stayed away. 

One of our correspondents reported that in Gidan Mangoro, there was high level of voter turnout, while in Garki different party agents at various polling units lamented the low turnout of electorate at the chairmanship and councillorship elections. 

At Area 3 Shipping Centre Polling Unit 012, the APC party agent, Mr. Asanbe Muhammaed, described the process as calm and cool, noting that the turnout was low because it was not a nationwide election. 

Our correspondent who roved round some of the polling units in Area 2, Area 1, Area 10, Area 3, Area 7 and Area 8, gathered that the voter's turnout was abysmally low. 

In some of the polling units visited in these areas, only 4 to 5 voters were sighted casting their ballots, even though electoral staff were on ground and some of them were already set to accredit voters. 

 

At the Area 1 primary school, which has the highest number of voters, less than 50 voters were on ground as at the time of this report at 12 noon, when compared to over 2000 voters who were present at about the same time during the presidential election. 

At Aso Drive polling unit 029, Mr Chima Chinedu, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, agent, said he believed that electorate low turnout was due to loss of interest and enthusiasm. 

Our correspondents who visited polling units in Kwali observed that only a handful of voters turned out to exercise their franchise when compared to turnout of voters at the Feb. 23 Presidential and National Assemble elections.  

An electorate who gave his name as Adamu Samuel told our correspondent that officials of the INEC arrived most polling units on time and commenced accreditation, adding that voting commenced at 8:30 am unlike the Presidential and National Assembly polls which started late. 

He, however, expressed optimism that more voters might come out to cast their votes as the exercise progresses.

In the same vein, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has won the chairmanship seats in three council areas declared by the electoral commission.

The area councils are Abaji, Gwagwalada and AMAC.

Alhaji Abdulraman Ajiya of APC was declared as the winner of Abaji Area Council. Prof. Simon Malaka, the INEC Returning Officer, said Ajiya, the incumbent chairman, scored the highest votes of 13,442 to defeat his closest rival, Alhaji Muhammad Ashafa, of the PDP, who polled 10,473 votes.

INEC also declared the candidate of APC, Mr. Adamu Danze, as the winner of Gwagwalada Area Council.

According to Mr Ahmed Shittu, the Returning Officer, Danze who is the incumbent chairman, scored the highest votes of 21,960, to defeat his closest rival Abubakar Giri, of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, who scored 14,105.

Also, Mr Abdullahi Candido, the candidate of APC in the Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, chairmanship election was declared winner by the Returning Officer, Prof. Mohammed Ndagi

Candido polled 53,538 votes to defeat the closest contender and candidate of the PDP, Mrs Vivian Anazedo, who scored 35,753 votes.

The elections in Kuje and Bwari area councils were declared inconclusive.

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