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Large turnout in Plateau council polls

A large turnout of voters has been reported in Pankshin, Kanke, Mangu, and Bokkos, as voters in Plateau elect local council officials.

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria, covering the exercise in the central senatorial district, reports that many voters had formed queues in several polling units as early as 7.15 am.

NAN also observed that among the voters were the aged, and young, some of whom said they were delighted to vote for the first time.

At Sharam polling unit in Ampang Ward ‘A’ of Kanke Local Government voting started as early as 9.30am, contrary to the PLASIEC electoral law that stipulated that the exercise should start at 12 noon.

According to the law, accreditation was expected to last till 12 pm, with voting starting thereafter.

But Mr Bako Zabe, PLASIEC presiding officer of the unit, who spoke to NAN at 10.54 am, said voting commenced early because accreditation had started before 8 am.

“We completed accreditation before 9.30 am and did not think we should keep waiting for hours because most of the voters, as you can see, are old people,” he said.

He said it was agreed by general consensus that the election should start as quickly as possible to allow people to return home and go about their normal activities.

The presiding officer, however, explained that late comers would be accredited and allowed to vote up till 3 pm, when the exercise was expected to close.

One of the voters at the polling unit, Prof Nenfort Gomwalk, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, told NAN that he was very impressed with the conduct of the exercise.

“I am very impressed with the preparations; as you can see the process is very peaceful and orderly.

“I think the electoral body prepared very well and this is very impressive,” he said.

NAN reports that the situation was similar at Kabir RCM polling unit of Pada Ward of Kanke Local Government, where voting commenced before 10 am.

The Presiding officer, Mr Musuka Daniel, told NAN that accreditation and voting were taking place simultaneously.

“Because of the high turnout and the fact that we did not start the accreditation at 8 am as expected, we decided to combine the accreditation and voting to save time and also help the aged that had waited for long,” he said.

He said the process was smooth as the people were ready and anxious to vote.

NAN reports that only 15 of the state’s 17 local governments are participating in the exercise after Jos North and Wase were excluded for security reasons.

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