By Mustapha Yauri
Low voter turnout characterized Saturday’s by-elections to the State Assembly in the Sabin Gari constituency of the city of Zaria in Kaduna state.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the seat occupied by Aminu Shagali, a member representing the constituency, was declared vacant in April, after he was allegedly accused of running away from assembly activities for more than 360 days.
NAN observed that security officers and election officials arrived at the polling stations as early as possible, with accreditation and voting starting simultaneously at the various polling stations at 8:30 a.m.
NAN also observed that election officials had to wait for voters at most polling stations due to low turnout.
However, the exercise was generally peaceful in most of the polling stations visited by the NAN.
Speaking about the cause of the low voter turnout, Malam Idris Lawal, a politician, told NAN that most people believed the elections would not start as planned.
Lawal, who is a member of the All Progressive Congress (APC), said he would contact the electorate to remind them of the exercise before the polls close.
Likewise, Aminu Ado, a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said he was optimistic about the increase in the number of voters later in the day.
NAN reports that the election is taking place in seven constituencies, namely Chikaji, Muchia, Jushin Waje, Hanwa, Dogarawa, Unguwan Gabas and Zabi.
No less than 128,051 registered voters are expected to participate in the exercise, for which five political parties presented candidates, according to INEC.
Political parties include the All Progressives Congress (APC), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the People’s Redemption Party (PRP), the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and the Democratic Action Party (ADP). (NAA)