Akko State and federal rerun election records low turnout

Rebecca Mu’azu, Gombe

The re-run elections for the Akko Federal Constituency and the Akko North State Assembly of Gombe State has recorded poor turnout, due to the minimal public awareness created on the elections.

One of the ad hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission at the Shongo Polling Unit said they recorded about ten per cent of the registered voters in the unit in this round of elections.

“The turnout … is short, compared to previous elections. And I don’t know may be they lack interest, or I think one of the reasons is because one of the candidate is not contesting.

Most of the voters at the polling units visited said the turnout was poor because there was no candidate for the All Progressives Congress at the Federal Constituency and that the elections were on a week day, when some people are at work.

However, supporters of the party who came out to vote said they did so, because the party had presented a candidate at the level of the state assembly.

Although the turnout was low in almost all the places visited, the atmosphere in those places was calm and peaceful.

Most of those that spoke with Voice of Nigeria attributed the low turn out to voter apathy, because they are made to vote a second time for same offices.

Some of the ad hoc staff of the Independent Electoral Commission had this to say on the turnout.

“The turnout is so poor because, if you see about one thousand three hundred and thirty seven registered voters, but we have accredited one hundred people … Within our polling unit, I think it should be one hundred and something.

Nullified Election

The re-run elections for Akko North State Constituency and the Akko Federal Constituency became necessary, when about three months ago, the election petition tribunal nullified the election of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Umaru Kawu Barambu.

His election was contested by the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Ismaila Mu’azu Hassan, who said his opponent did not properly defect from the People’s Democratic Party.

Not satisfied with the verdict of the tribunal, the All Progressives Congress then took the case to the Appeal Court, which equally nullified the election, on the same grounds.

However for the candidates for the State House of Assembly, the All Progressives Congress presented a candidate.

There were other candidates from the People’s Democratic Party, the Social Democratic Party, and the UPP.

Voting took place in 391 units at the Akko Federal Constituency level, while another 159 units provided voters the opportunity to vote for a man that would represent them at the state House of Assembly.

It will also be recalled that the list of candidates for both elections did not come out until two days ago, which was in the evening and most voters thought the elections were to hold on Saturday and not on a working day.

With voting completed and results from the various units being compiled, the final results are not expected till Thursday, January 28.