‘How Gwagwalada Council Poll Was Sold’ | Independent Newspapers Limited
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‘How Gwagwalada Council Poll Was Sold’

Posted: Apr 14, 2016 at 7:29 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
Rotimi Akinwumi
The conduct of Area council election in Gwagwalada Area council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)  on Saturday recorded no major negative incident but characterised by buying of votes by party agents.
The ruling All Progressives Peoples Congress (APC) won five out of the six councils election in the capital city.
At the voting unit inside Mamman Kotangora Estate Primary School, it was observed that party agents openly induced voters with cash while the police officers on duty watched without doing anything to stop the vote buying.
But the action actually did not take place within the market area of the polling unit as prospective voters were seen being accosted a few metres to the polling venue where negotiations took place between the Party agents and voters interested in collecting gratification before voting.
Mostly, the sum of N2,000 was offered to any interested voter.
Most of the intending voters had besieged their various polling units as early as 7:30 a.m. awaiting the arrival of the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Though it was observed that turnout of voters in some highbrow areas of the town, those occupied mainly by low income earners had a huge turnout of voters.
As at 12:30 p.m. the nine polling units situated at Kasuwandare area of the town still had a lot of voters waiting on queue to be accredited and given the ballot to vote.
Unlike in the past when accreditation and voting were done at different times, the new policy of simultaneous accreditation and voting seem to make the work of INEC officials easier and the voters were happy for it.
Abubakar Yusuf, one of the voters, who spoke with Independent on the conduct of the poll sang praises of INEC for doing a good job in adopting the new method.
In view of the religious inclination of the people who were mostly Muslims,  different queue were formed for the men and the women while security operatives mostly men of the Nigeria police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) assisted in ensuring that those on the queue remained orderly.
There was no evidence that the security operatives interfered with the voting process.
At the Dagiri Area of Gwagwalada voting was generally peaceful as security operatives ensured that there were not negative incident recorded.