Early results from polling units in the Federal Capital Territory Area Council elections show that candidates of the governing All Progressives Congress and those of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party are running neck and neck.
Results from the New Chief’s Palace, Polling Unit, Karu, show that for the Abuja Municipal Area Council Chairmanship, APC got 30 votes while the opposition PDP garnered 62 votes with the All Progressives Grand Alliance getting only one vote.
For the Councillorship position, the APC received 38 votes while the PDP had 50, the APGA got two.
The collation of results at polling units in Kubwa, Bwari Area council, commenced around 3pm.
At polling unit 001A located at Byazin Roundabout, the Presiding Officer, Mr. Alechenu David, announced the results as follows: “For the position of counsellor, the APC candidate received 21 votes while his PDP counterpart received 19 votes; two votes were declared invalid.
“For the position of chairman, at voting point one, the APC candidate received 26 votes while his counterpart in the PDP got 17 votes.”
At voting point two, 46 voters were accredited by the card reader, 37 were successful, while nine failed. The number of accredited voters whose names were cleared on the voters register was 47.
When the votes were counted for the Councillorship position, the APC got 18 votes, while the PDP scored 29. There was no invalid vote.
For the position of chairman the APC candidate received 27 votes, while the PDP candidate had 20 votes.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that 2 persons were injured, in a fracas over 500 missing ballot papers in Kwali Area Council.
Youths in Bako Village in Kwali Area Council went on rampage, following the discovery that 500 ballot papers were missing in their polling unit.
NAN quoted an eyewitness as saying after accreditation and voting, the presiding officer of the Dabi polling unit counted the ballot papers and it was discovered that instead of 3000 ballot papers, there were 2,500.
‘’This led to arguments between the presiding officer, party agents and party supporters at the centre, resulting in violence that left two people injured. The situation was however, brought under control by security agents attached to the centre,’’ Isaiah told NAN.
As at the time of filing the report, the polling centre was deserted and pockets of youths were seen discussing in hushed tones the possible effect of the violence on the voting in the area.
Some voters were also seen milling around hopeful that the situation would be resolved soon.
The Electoral Officer of Kwali, Mr. Dahiru Abubakar, confirmed the Dabi village incident saying that the violence in the centre could affect the election, if the votes cast was more than the number of registered voters.
The turn-out for the elections at Kuje Area council was a mixed bag while some units like the polling station at the Junior Secondary School recorded an impressive turn-out, others like the Low Cost Jeida polling booth recorded no voter as at 1pm when our correspondent visited.
A polling officer, Abdul-Hakeem Ahmed-Tijani, said none of the seven registered voters in the unit had shown up to vote.
He said, “We have been here at the polling unit since 8am, but none of the seven registered voters in this place had come to vote. Maybe it is because it was a newly created polling unit, but we are still expecting them to show up before the polling closes.”
A downpour temporarily aborted voting at Central primary school at 1:40pm and prospective voters and the electoral officers had to relocate to the classrooms where voting continued.
Our correspondent who went round polling stations in Kuje satellite town observed that the election was generally peaceful and recorded no violence or hitches of any kind.
Though there were cases of card readers not working properly at some polling units, but majority of polling officers said the machine did not give them problems.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the FCT, Prof. Jacob Jatau, said, “We want to urge every voter to be peaceful and I believe that is what actually lead to re-run, when there are violence and you have to cancel some polling units, then there is possibility of re-run but if everybody is peaceful and we work together properly, I believe there won’t be any re-run or inconclusiveness.”
The Transition Monitoring Group in its preliminary report, noted that INEC officials largely arrived on time with sensitive and non-sensitive materials for the commencement of the simultaneous processes of accreditation and voting at 8am, adding that voting started as early as 9.30am at some polling units.
“Although the card readers read most of the Permanent Voters Cards in the observed polling units, in many instances, finger print authentication failed. The voters were however not disenfranchised as they were passed on to the next stage of the process, using the incident forms,” the report by TMG Media manager, Armsfree Ajanaku stated.
The group said it observed incidences of vote buying in some area councils “with prospective voters selling their votes for amounts ranging between N200 and N500.”