By Obinna Unaeze
Chanchaga – Late arrival of electoral materials characterised council elections in Chanchaga Local Government Area of Niger on Saturday, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
NAN check in Minna, Chanchaga Local Government Area revealed that electoral material arrived late in many polling units in the area.
In Bosso Lical Government Area, accreditation and voting started as early as 8am but recorded low turnout of voters.
When NAN visited Nasarawa “C” Kofar Wachiko polling unit, Hajiya Fatima Yusuf, Polling Orderly at the unit told NAN that she arrived in the centre at 7a.m. but as at the time of filling this story, electoral material had yet to arrive in the centre.
“Our Presiding Officer here, Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq went to get our ballot papers and result sheets, so we are waiting for him,” she said.
Similarly, at Tilapia polling unit at Tunga in Minna it was the same as the voters there were still waiting in the scorching Sun at 1. 26 p.m. for the arrival of electoral materials.
Malam Mustapha Mohammed, a registered voter at the polling station, told NAN that the non arrival of electoral materials was delaying the process.
“I arrived here since 7. 15a.m and we are told that electoral materials has yet to arrive in the centre.
”Eventually the Niger State Independent Electoral Commission (NSIEC) officials came with the materials at 1.15pm,” he said.
Responding, Malam Usman Aliyu Public Relations Officer (PRO) NSIEC said that the problem was caused by the Electoral Officer in charge of Chanchaga Local Government Area, Alhaji Yusuf Zakari.
“You know we cannot give out electoral materials to just anybody it must be our own staff or ad hoc staff,” he said.
Aliyu said that the commission had launched investigations into the issue and that anybody found wanting would be made to face the law.
He explained that consideration would be given to the Chanchaga area where accreditation did not start on time due to late arrival of electoral materials.
“If you have joined the queue before 4p.m. when accreditation and voting was supposed to stop you are eligible to vote no matter the time.
“The time will be extended for such voters because of the late arrival of electoral material to the area,” he said.
He said that there were 3, 185 polling units and 274 wards across the 25 local government areas in the state.