The Plateau Province Local Regime elections in Jos Northward, Bassa, Jos Southward, Barkin Ladi amid others were generally peaceful but experienced a really low turnout of voters allegedly due to the tension that predicated the conduct of the exercise.
Also, some other possible reason attributed to the low turnout is the non-participation of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Political party (PDP) in the elections.
DAILY POST recalls that a Province High Judicature sitting in Jos, had on 29th September, 2021 dismissed a suit filed by the main opposition Peoples Democratic Political party (PDP), challenging the choice of the Plateau Province Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC), which had excluded the political party from participating in the local authorities council polls.
Justice Ishaku Kunda, who delivered the sentence on the matter, upheld PLASIEC’s choice, and said the suit by PDP lacked substance, because the political party could not abide by the guidelines of the commission in participating in the elections.
Kunda maintained that PLASIEC has the right to have refused PDP nomination and face of involvement forms for the said election; stressing that the PDP erred for not having followed the directions.
The jurist sighted the sentence of SP Gang of Nov 20th, 2020, which ordered the political party to conduct province congress, the political party went ahead to evoke sections of its structure and dissolved the province EXCO and constituted a caretaker commission which conducted its primaries that produced the candidates which PLASIEC refused to issue forms.
In the circumstances, the jurist held that all the steps and actions taken by the caretaker commission of PDP, including the conduct of the said primary elections was null and void.
“The entire claims in the submission of the claimant is hereby dismissed,” the Jurist stated.
Furthermore, the PDP went to the Judicature of Appeal, in Jos, seeking an injunction to halt the conduct of the polls, but the tribunal denied them the asking, saying since the tenure of the elected officials at the local authorities had elapsed, a vacuum cannot be created.
Notwithstanding, DAILY POST was at Kabong Southward Polling Unit in Jos Northward LGA as early as 9am, where electoral materials were beingness distributed to election officials roofing the Kabong Ward of the area.
The number of prospective voters was scanty spell security personnel were seen accompanying materials to the various units.
At the Jenta Mangoro Polling Unit with code number 014, voting had not commenced as at 10 am due to protests by voters who complained that a different poll box belonging to some other unit was brought to them.
Similarly, Patrick Musa, a resident of Jos Jarawa, expressed his disappointment when the PLASIEC officials brought a poll box belonging to Anguwan Rogo polling unit with the code number 068.
Also, at the Jenta Makeri junction polling Unit with code number 003, there were no voters around as at when DAILY POST came.
From records, the unit has 841 total registered voters but only a few cast their ballots as at 10am. The same was the state of affairs at St. Luke’s Primary School Polling Unit with number 008, all in Jos Northward LGA.
Nearly a similar state of affairs at Ali Kazaure Ward, where most Polling units had security personnel and election officials sitting idle spell people were going in relation to their normal business. But some shape of activities were going on at the Kwararafa movie house Polling unit.
In Bassa LGA Jengre, Miango, Rukuba, amid others, it was gathered that the turnout of people was really poor but that there were little hitches.
Same was also gathered from Gyel, Vyang, Du and Zawan areas in Jos Southward.
Speaking to some residents in some of the aforementioned communities, Bala Musa, said, “I’m a PDP supporter, my political party is not participating, so why should I bother going out to vote, infact to vote who.”
Also, an APC fellow member, Chuwang Peter, said, “why would I bother voting, when we have won already?”
“I’m happy, because we are going to shape a authorities across the 17 Local Governments, but I’m sad because there was no mobilisation materials from the political party, because there is no stiff competition”.
Also, speaking, former fellow member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Suleiman Yahaya Kwande, cast his vote at the Hill station Junction Polling Unit 002, describing the voter turnout is low.
He, nevertheless nonetheless, attributed it to the tension that predicated the election.
“The turnout is a flake low, permit me be honest with you. But so you know how people are. We Nigerians, we similar to do that African timing. There was lots of tension and anxiety, particularly yesterday waiting for the sentence from the Appeal Judicature. But we give thanks God everything went on smoothly,” he stated.
Notwithstanding, despite the low turnout of voters, the APC councillorship candidate for Vandapuye Ward, Evangelist Grace Vandapuye, expressed her satisfaction with the conduct of the election.
“I am highly impressed with the people of Vandapuye because they gave me massive back up.
“The people came out for the candidates and not the political party,” she stated.
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