Kaduna LG polls: El-Rufai suffers defeat in his polling unit

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Kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, lost his polling unit to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Saturday’s Local government elections. Announcing the results for the El-Rufai’s Angwan Sarki 001 polling unit, the Presiding Officer, Mohammed Sani said, in the Chairmanship election, the PDP scored 86 votes while the APC got 62 votes.
Sani said in the councillorship election, the PDP scored 100 votes while the APC recorded 53 votes.
The governor had earlier in an interview after casting his vote, expressed disappointment about the low voter turnout of voters in the council polls.
“What worries me is that I noticed that people didn’t turned out much,” he said.
The governor said there were challenges in some polling units as wrong machines were given.
“I know that in many polling units, there were challenges with the Electronic Voting Machines.
“Some machines were taken to the wrong polling units, so they had to be changed. So people who came out early to vote, thought that the voting had not started,” he said.
Speaking on the use of Electronic Voting Machines for the elections, El-Rufai said “technology is the key to minimising cheating in elections and unless we removed cheating in elections, we will never have credible leaders, we will never have accountable leaders and this is why we are committed to this.”
He said there has been a significant improvement on the machines compared to the ones used in the 2018 LG polls.
El-Rufai said, the improved voting machine being used for the elections makes it nearly impossible to do multiple voting which, according to him, “happened a lot in 2018.”
He said the voting machine is activated with voting card, explaining that, “once you come and you are accredited that this is your polling unit, you go to the voting machine, you place your voter’s card it opens the machine for you, you vote.”
According to him, “The whole process takes less than 15 seconds. So it is very quick, very efficient and you see your ballot paper being printed so that the ballot papers can be counted…
“So we are very happy with the improvement and we are pleased that this time it will be extremely difficult for anyone to rig these elections.
He explained further that, “the machines also transmits the results at the end of voting to a server as well as a back up at a USB as well as printed copies for all parties and all the security agencies, so it is very difficult to alter anything.”
The governor said his administration was committed to free and fair elections in Kaduna.
“As I said several times, we are not going to behave like other parties or other state governments where the ruling parties win everything. “We will allow the people of Kaduna state to elect who they want, we do not have to win everywhere.
“We know that we have work for the people of Kaduna state, we know that they can see the food print of the government and local government everywhere, the APC government and we are confident that all reasonable minded and fair minded people will vote for our party and our candidates because they know that we are committed the welfare of the people.
“We don’t believe in cheating, we don’t believe in rigging elections, but we also do not believe that others should cheat us.
“This is why we encourage SIECOM to come up with a very improved, full proof system and I am happy that they have done that.
“What we have shown in Kaduna is that it is possible to do this across Nigeria and I think INEC is looking at the experiment in Kaduna very closely.
“They were observers in 2018 and they had sent a team to look at what we are doing in 2021.
Our correspondence who visited some polling units in Kaduna South and Kaduna North LGAs, noted the general apathy among residents.
In Gidan Hakimi, Kakuri polling unit, Kaduna South LGA, both the agents of the APC and the PDP, confirmed that people did not come out to vote.
“I think that people didn’t come out to vote because of the general hardship in the country”, one of the party agents said.
Also at the Abubakar Kigo LEA Primary School polling unit, Kaduna North LGA, election officials were idle as people did not turn out.
Meanwhile the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has raised the alarm over the conduct of the elections, alleging that the voting machines were programmed to accept and prints votes for the APC only.
Addressing news men at the NUJ Press Centre on Saturday in Kaduna, spokesman of the state chapter of the party, Abraham Catoh, alleged that machines in some polling units were only printing results for APC.

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