By Saawua Terzungwe (Abuja), Jide Olasunkanmi, Eugene Agha (Lagos), Yusufu Aminu Idegu (Jos), Habibu Idris Gimba (Damaturu) & Usman A. Bello (Benin)
Septuagenarians and nonagenarians on Saturday expressed mixed feelings after casting their votes in the governorship and state assembly elections.
Some of them who spoke with the Daily Trust on Sunday said they voted because of the future of their children.
They expressed dissatisfaction with the political class for not initiating and implementing policies that favour the aged.
They said they took the pains to go out and vote because they were yearning for positive change.
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One of them, Ruth Ajang, 76, who voted at Unit 008, Katon Rikkis along Lamingo road, Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State, said because of her age and enthusiasm to vote, politicians got her a Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) to enable her to exercise her franchise.
An 89-year-old man, Baba Muhammad, deplored the failure of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in his polling unit, saying the machines functioned better during the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections.
I voted because of my children’s future – 95-yr-old man
A 95-year-old man, Pa Jimoh Ogunsanya, said he voted because of the future of his children.
The nonagenarian, who is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), however, decried what he described as neglecting of the elderly by the APC-led government in Lagos State.
He spoke with Daily Trust on Sunday at Ward D3, polling unit 002, Mafoluku in Oshodi-Isolo LGA, Rafiu Christian Street, after casting his vote.
He was assisted by one of his children to the polling unit.
He said: “I came out to vote not because of my needs anymore, but for my children to secure a good future and stay alive. The APC-led government has not been supporting my well-being despite my old age.
“I have not been given any benefits. Even though I got to realise some aged people were being taken care of, mine is a different story entirely. Aside the Almighty God, it’s my children that support me to stay well and alive.”
I voted to make a difference, says 78-yr-old man
A 78-year-old man, Bashorun Babatunde Rotinwa, who cast his vote in the Ikorodu area of Lagos, said he voted to make a difference.
“I am 78 years old, and I am happy that I am alive to take part in this year’s elections. I want to make a difference in this election,” he said.
February 25 polls best since 1951 – Benin monarch
The Esogban of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edebiri, 94, has described the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections as the best since he started voting in 1951.
Chief Edebiri, who stated this yesterday after casting his vote at his ward 2 unit 19, said he started voting when he was 22 years old.
He said, “It will interest you to know that I started voting at the age of 22 in December 1951, in the regional election to the house of assembly at Ibadan.
“We were then part of the Western Region. Since then, I have not failed to vote in any election, be it national or sub-national. The February 25 election was the best I have seen and taken part in, since 1951.”
He also said, “Those who voted in the last election were not members of political parties. They came for certain purposes to make some statements, and when the statements failed, their interests died.”
He however expressed gratitude to God for being alive to vote in this year’s elections.
90-yr-old woman casts vote
Also, a 90-year-old woman, Madam Badere Obukoko, also voted at Unit 19, Orogun Ward 2, in Ughelli North LGA of Delta State yesterday.