todayFebruary 12, 2022 185 27
It is election day in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja as residents of the nation’s capital go to the polls to elect chairmen and councillors for the six Area Councils.
The Area Councils are Abaji, Bwari, Gwagwalada, Kuje, Kwali and Abuja Municipal (AMAC).
The election will see the emergence of six chairmen – for each area council, and 62 councillors.
Over 400 candidates and their running mates are currently vying for these positions.
They are drawn from 14 political parties cleared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to participate in the poll.
However, many believe the contest for the different positions is between the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This is majorly because the two parties dominated in the previous FCT elections in 2019.
The APC had won the chairmanship seats in Abaji, Kwali, Gwagwalada and AMAC while the PDP won in Kuje and Bwari.
Over 1.3 million voters are expected to vote across 2,229 polling units in the FCT.
INEC has said elections will not be held in 593 polling units as they have no registered voters.
Also, no materials were produced for these units and no personnel would be deployed to them.
Voting will take place in all the other polling units.
For congested polling units, INEC deployed more BVAS (Card Readers) to ensure speedy accreditation of voters.
Besides the imbalance in the distribution of polling units, many have raised concerns over the poor representation of women in the candidacy.
Of the 55 candidates vying for chairmanship positions, only three are women and only eight females for the vice chairmanship position.
Also, there are only 31 females of the total of 363 candidates for councillorship positions.
Absence of INEC Staff At Dawaki 1, 2 As Voters Allege Rigging
Four polling units located at Dawaki, under the administration of the Bwari Area Council (BAC); One visited by EAGLES FM on Saturday morning saw no sign of the voting exercise.
There were no officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC or materials by 08:30 when our correspondent visited.
Voters who turned up at the polling units could not verify their names as the polling units were not marked as the Commission usually does ahead of voting exercise.
Voters could not identify the number of each polling unit but they said voting exercises had taken place in the units in the last three elections.
“We have voted here in the last three elections. When you see signs like this, it’s preparation for rigging,” a voter who refused to identify himself said.
At the Polling Unit 004, Dawaki Two, Ground Square, HillSide Estate with voters up to 500, no INEC official or material for voting had arrived.
The unit too was not marked when our correspondent visited by 07:45am and left at about 08:23am.
When our correspondent visited again at 09:20am and left at 09:55am, there was still no sign of voting.
But two People’s Democratic Party’s agents were seen sitting down and waiting for the arrival of INEC officials and materials.
One polling unit security agent joined the PDP agent in waiting.
Only three voters turned up one after another and left with no INEC staff and materials for voting.
According to a voter who identified himself as Luka, absence of INEC officials and voting material is a recipe for “rigging. They just simply want to rig or else how does one explain why there’s no INEC staff with materials here.
“This polling unit used to be full of people. It’s a polling unit with over 500 voters.
“Unfortunately, they want to disenfranchise us.”
Asked why voters haven’t turned up if they were interested in voting, he said, “When they see INEC staff and banners, words will go round and people will turn up.
“People are watching from their houses. You can see upstairs. People are peeping through the windows. It’s always the case that within minutes, you will see a crowd here,” he said.
EAGLES FM will be bringing you updates on the election from the six area councils.
By Toffa Momoh
Written by: EaglesFM