Kano State on Saturday held elections for the chairmanship of its 44 local government areas and the councillorship of its 484 wards.
Daily Trust, however, observed low turnout and voter apathy in most parts of the state as some youths, especially in Kano metropolis, took to the streets to play football instead of voting in the election.
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The election, which the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is being tipped to sweep, was however relatively peaceful.
The major opposition party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had withdrawn from the election but a faction of the party fielded candidates for election and was recognised by the state electoral commission.
In most of the polling units visited by our reporters in Ungogo, Bichi, Dambatta, Dawakin Tofa, Kumbotso, Madobi, Gwale, Dala, Fagge, Kano Municipal, Nassarawa, Tarauni, Dawakin Kudu, Gezawa, Warawa, Gabasawa, Wudil and Minjibir Local Government areas, it was observed that only agents of the APC were present at the polling units.
Some youths playing at Rijiyar Zaki area of the state metropolitan area said they would rather play soccer or sleep instead of casting their votes in the election they described as ‘waste of resources’ and which they can already predict its result.
The Kano State Independent Electoral Commission (KANSIEC) budgeted N2.3bn for the election.
As at 3pm, the voting and collation of results have been concluded in most of the polling units while the collation at the local government areas had commenced.
APC will win all LGs – Ganduje
Meanwhile, the state Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje had said that the APC will emerge winner in all the 44 LGAs of the state.
He stated this shortly after casting his vote at his polling unit 008 of Ganduje village of Dawakin Tofa Local Government.
He expressed his satisfaction with the peaceful conduct of the election.
Similarly, his Deputy, Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, who voted at Magwan Primary School polling unit in Nassarawa Local Government area has also described the election as peaceful, which he said showed their commitment and strength to democratic principles.
Madobi LG belongs to APC – Kwankwaso
Musa Iliyasu Kwankwaso, the state’s Commissioner of Rural Development and a chieftain of the APC from Madobi LGA, the same LGA of former governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, told Daily Trust after the election that the APC will win all the seats in the LGA “as we have always done.”
He added that there was massive turnout in his LGA and the election was successful because the Kwankwasiyya faction of the PDP did not participate, adding that “they are the ones always bringing confusion.”
However, a member of the Kwankwasiyya media forum in Kano Municipal, Alhaji Nagoda, said the low turnout recorded in the election is an indication of the number of votes the ruling APC will get in the 2023 general election in the state.
“I went round the polling units in some local governments area of the state for monitoring the election and I found out there were not up to 30 people on the queue in most of the polling units I visited. This number of people that voted for the APC is what they are going to get in 2023,” he said.
Reacting, a Special Adviser to the Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje on Media, Aminu ‘Black’ Gwale, said that contrary to what oppositions are spreading, there was massive turnout of voters at all the polling units.
“What the opposition is saying is mere propaganda because everyone witnessed how voters came out massively for the election, especially women who left their activities at home in order to vote for the APC,” he said.
Residents defy restriction rules, COVID-19 protocols
Daily Trust reports that residents shunned COVID-19 protocols and restriction rules on Saturday as the election held in all the local government areas of the state.
The police had announced a 6am-6pm no movement order for non essential workers and had promised to strictly enforced the order but our reporters observed several vehicles moving unimpeded throughout the period with residents going on with their daily activities in virtually all the major roads of the city, with almost zero security presence to impose the restriction of movement order.
However, security vehicles, especially those of policemen, were seen moving around without enforcing the restriction rule.
Also, in all the polling units visited, voters were seen casting their votes without face masks and they were also seen not observing the COVID-19 protocols of physical distancing.
Thugs cart away ballot box, seizes Daily Trust reporter’s phone
At Tudun Fulani Jamade polling unit, Ungogo Local Government area, hoodlums carted away ballot box and ballot papers.
By the time they returned around 11.30pm, they announced that the election was over and left with election officials.
One of them was heard saying since people will not come out to vote, “we’ve done it for them and the election is over. We are done.”
In related development, a Daily Trust reporter was accosted by some political thugs who seized his phone and deleted all pictures and videos taken at Tudun Bojuwa, Kurnar Asabe polling unit, in Dala Local Government.
They accused him of trying to spy for another political party, threatening to flog him before they later deleted all the contents of his phone and sent him away from the unit.