Ex-Zambia president commends election process in Abuja
London, Feb. 23, 2019 (AltAfrica)-In spite of recorded shortcomings, former President of Zambia and Head of mission, Electoral Institute for Sustainable Development in Africa, EISA, Mr Rupiah Banda, has expressed satisfaction with the conduct of voters and election officers in the ongoing Presidential and National Assembly elections in Nigeria so far.
Speaking to journalists at voting Unit 022 at Ministers Hill, Maitama Abuja, President Banda said “our observation so far is that people are eager to vote. Wherever we’ve gone, we see ladies and gentlemen, youths are on the lines ready to vote; and they are peaceful.”
“They are following the rules and regulations. We are very impressed with that,” he added. Asked to comment on general election process as to free and fair or otherwise, Mr. Banda said “it’s too early to say” whether it is free, fair or not. “We are not in a position to make that kinds of prediction yet,” he stated.
He said EISA has seven missions spread all over the country to observe the process. The mission is observing the elections in nine states of the federation.
“Our observation is that there is eagerness to vote, which shows the Nigerian people want to express themselves during this election. People are lined up and patiently ready to vote,” Banda said.
There are five Polling Units at the centre. Some voters who spoke to newsmen at the voting centre say they are comfortable with the process so far. They say there has not been any issue with the Card Reader. The security officers were seen conducting themselves in the best professional manna.
Meanwhile, News Agency of Nigeria, NAN reports that opposition Gov Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Sen. Aliyu Wamakko, have expressed confidence on the Saturday’s electoral process and excitement over voters turnout.
The News Agency of Nigeria report Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu
s that Tambuwal voted at JNI Islamiyya Primary School in Tambuwal Town polling unit 011- Shiyar Ajiya, at exactly 11:48 a.m.
Wamakko voted at Gidan Jaoje 003 polling unit, at 10: 51 a.m. in Wamakko Local Government area as well.
The governor said the level of voters’ turnout, indicated the readiness of electorate to elect their suitable choice in the country.
“I am satisfied with arrangements, this indicates that we will have a good election in Nigeria.”
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), my party, will accept the results.
“We in PDP believe in God, and as such whatever becomes the result we will accept such with good heart, “he said.
Tambuwal added that so far, no security breach was reported in Sokoto State.
Wamakko, who is re-contesting for Sokoto North Senatorial seat, expressed satisfaction over the election arrangements and the entire processes.
He commended authorities for smooth conduct of the exercise and people’s turnout, which he said was impressive.
He added that this gave candidates more confidence on the process..
Sen. Ibrahim Danbaba, who was at Danbuwa Primary School in Sokoto, described the turnout as monumental and commended INEC on the arrangements.
Danbaba, contesting for Sokoto South Senatorial District on the platform of PDP, said relevant authorities were informed of the slight delay on the commencement of the exercise.
He expressed the hope that the lost time would be compensated, to enable everybody to cast his vote.
Alhaji Abubakar Shehu, the APC Senatorial candidate for Sokoto South, said there was initially some hitches at the beginning but INEC officials resolved them.
He said that the turnout of voters was impressive, adding that there were logistic challenges but officials were working hard to tackle such.
According to him, APC is hopeful of getting large numbers of votes across the zone.
Alhaji Ahmad Maccido, the PDP senatorial candidate for Sokoto North senatorial district, said the present election was the best he had witnessed since 1999.
He lauded people turnout and authorities for orderliness.
He said that arrangements were made for elderly persons and physically challenged persons to vote as separate queues were made for women and all arrangements moved simultaneously.
The physically challenged persons have separate queues at Asibitin Kutare ward, as one of them Abdullahi Umaru said he, along with others, besieged the polling units early to vote.
NAN also observed the presence of different election observers and numerous political agents at polling units.
Among the party agents observed were for FRESH, APA, UDP, APG, UPN, NDLP, PDP, AAC, AGA, ACPN, ADC and APC. (NAN)