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PDP Kwali chairmanship candidate says poll may extend into night

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Voters queue at a polling station in Abuja on February 23, 2019, as they prepare to vote in the presidential election. – Nigerians began voting for a new president on February 23, after a week-long delay that has raised political tempers, sparked conspiracy claims and stoked fears of violence. Some 120,000 polling stations began opening from 0700 GMT, although there were indications of a delay in the delivery of some materials and deployment of staff, AFP reporters said. (Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

Mr Ibrahim Daniel, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairmanship candidate for the forthcoming March 9, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council elections, has expressed fear that the ongoing Presidential and National Assembly elections might extend into the night.

Daniel made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Kwali while applauding the people of the area for coming out en-masse to exercise their franchise.

He said this was due to the large turnout of the electorate in Kwali, a satellite town in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He added commended the security operatives for ensuring adequate security for the people.

“We believe the turnout is very impressive; it showed that Nigerians have become politically conscious to participate in deciding who becomes the county’s next president.

“It is not longer like before where it was all about a selected few who do care about their country.

“However, because of the large turnout of the electorate, voting may extend into the night and that is my fear.”

Daniel decried the late arrival of election materials in most polling centrer, saying that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should have improved on its operations following its experience in 2015.

According to him, the 2015 general elections was far better in terms of preparations compared to this year.

“The organisation of the 2015 general elections is far better than what we are seeing now. INEC should have improved by now, studying the people and the system properly to come out with something workable.”

Daniel observed that security personnel deployment in the council was not even and stressed the need to address this gap in the March 9 elections.

Also speaking to NAN, Mr Joseph Shazim, Kwali Area Council outgoing Chairman, expressed satisfaction on the voter turnout, saying it was encouraging.

Shazim, who is also the FCT ALGON Chairman, however, decried the late arrival of election materials in most polling centres.

He added that with the situation on ground, meeting the 2 p.m. deadline to stop voters’ from joining the queue was not feasible.

On the preparation for the forthcoming Area Council election, Shazim said the council had been sensitising and holding stakeholders meetings to enlighten party members on how to conduct themselves before, during and after the elections.

“We are also sensitising them not to use hate speech during campaigns, to avoid causing problems and heating up the polity; I don’t think there will be any challenge,” he said.


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