Elections: Bauchi residents decry postponement, predict low turnout next Saturday

By Ahmed Ahmed

Residents of Bauchi who, were disappointed over the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) postponement of the Saturday February 2, 2019 presidential and national assembly elections, have predicted low turnout in the rescheduled exercise next Saturday.
They flayed the INEC for announcing the postmen very late.
Most of them said that they had arrived their polling units only to be told that the election hed been rescheduled.
‎It could be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission met on Friday, February 15, 2019 and reviewed its preparation for the 2019 general elections scheduled for Saturday, February 16, and Saturday, March 2.
‎Our Correspondent, who monitored some of the poling units reports that some voters turned out to cast their votes as early as 7: 30am not knowing that the election was rescheduled for Saturday February 23.
At Miri GRA, Yelwa and Kofar Sidi on Saturday, voters gathered in small groups discussing why the election was rescheduled.
At most of the polling centres visited there was no INEC officials but only adhoc staff who could not explain the postponement to voters who patiently waited to cast their votes on Saturday.

At Miri Poling centre, Mallam Isa Ahmed, a carpenter said, “I am not aware the election was rescheduled; that is why you see me this morning. But it is not fair. I abandoned all my engagements and job to cast my votes.

"People are willing and ready to come and vote, the officials didn't consider many things before the postponement. I don't know if I will make it next week."
Hajiya Ladi Saba at GRA poling centre said, “I don't think I will vote again because my morale is low now. We were prepared to go to poll and now they said next week.
"Why is INEC treating millions of Nigerians like that? You mean all these while the agency was not ready for the election," she queried.

Alhaji Aliyu Itas at Mallam Sidi Poling unit said, "I was not really aware of the postponement of the election but all the same is alright with me.
"That will give the candidates and the voters more opportunities to prepare and re arrange.

"Besides, it is not the first time to reschedule elections in this country. The postponement is only for one week; it doesn't make difference.
"But we should be wary of low turnout of voters. Anything rescheduled attracts more or less attention."
Mr Kefas Maina at Yelwa poling centre said, “My family and I travelled home to Bauchi for the election and the election was postponed.
"I don't think I will come back next week because I don't have such resources again to bring us back.
"I will end up not exercising my franchise; honestly, I can't afford it again.”

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