9th April, 2011
Ibrahim Adamu, 23, was among a number of miscreants arrested by security operatives in Kano, North-West Nigeria for causing varying degrees of violence during Saturdayâ€™s National Assembly election.
Ibrahim was picked at a polling unit in Gingiyu Ward, Nassarawa Local Government Area of the state, home of Governor Ibrahim Shekarau when he tried stoning the governor with his shoe.
P.M.NEWS observed that the young man who followed the governor immediately after casting his vote was shouting Bamuaso, meaning, â€œwe donâ€™t want himâ€ when he removed his shoe and threw it at the direction of the governor but was immediately apprehended by the police.
This action, however, was a sharp contrast to the feelings of the crowd which hailed Shekarau as his convoy entered the area amidst tight security.
It was, however, learnt from security sources that there was a planned attack on the governor who is also the presidential candidate of the All Nigerian Peoples Party, ANPP, â€œand so we have to ensure adequate security to avoid any problem.â€
Uniform men including the police, State Security Service, SSS, Civil Defence, the Army, Air force and governor Shekarauâ€™s security details were conspicuously seen in different locations around the Gingiyu area.
P.M.NEWS also reports that there were huge security presence across the state as a joint team of the army and the police mounted road blocks in strategic points stopping and searching suspicious vehicles and monitoring peopleâ€™s movement.
However, Governor Shekarau who arrived the polling unit at about 11:30 a.m. was immediately, urged Nigerians to be peaceful and cast their votes to candidates they believe will better the lot of the masses and take the country to greater heights, noting that he was impressed at the large turn out of voters.
â€œBy the grace of God, we will have a free, fair, credible and transparent election. It is going to be one man, one vote, and people will be willing to accept the result. People should continue to be orderly, people should continue to patiently file out in the remaining elections and call their votes peacefully in accordance with their conscience and choice of their candidates,â€ Shekarau stated.
Meanwhile, the turnout for the election in the state was impressive as voters were seen at the polling units in large numbers exercising their civic responsibilities.
In Sabon Gari, Fagge Local Government Area, for instance, P.M. NEWS witnessed massive turn out of Nigerians who stormed the polling units as early as 6 p.m. ready for accreditation.
Some of the voters within the area who spoke to P.M.NEWS said they were zealous to participate in the election so as to ensure they vote for better representatives who will save them from the problem of infrastructural decay and lack of social amenities.
â€œYou are aware that Sabon Gari is pre-dominantly resided by non-indigenes. Over the years, this area has been abandoned. They will come during election time and give us empty promises. Our roads are bad, we scarcely get electricity, no portable water and we pay huge taxes. Before now, most of us donâ€™t care to vote because we lost hope in the leaders; but this time, we have seen people that we can trust going for these positions and we are ready to support them. We are not voting for prominent political parties but for candidates that we can call our own no matter the platform they are using,â€ Chief Ozoemena Okonkwo told P.M.NEWS.
At Gezawa Local Government Area, about three people were arrested for different electoral offences. One was picked with about 500 ballot papers while a staff of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was also nabbed in the area in possession of electoral materials not meant for the polling unit where he was caught. The third person, an unidentified youth was arrested for causing violence.
There were also pockets of violence and electoral malpractice in some of the polling units visited across the state.
Just like a number of polling units, at Shagari quarters in Kumbutso local government, voting commenced earlier as scheduled as people were seen casting their votes as early as 11 a.m. while the normal time for voting was 12 noon.
Another major hiccup in the state was the problem of names of registered voters missing in the INEC master list, as thousands of eligible voters across the state lamented helplessly because they could not be allowed to perform their civic responsibilities, â€œfor a mistake that was not made by us,â€ they wondered.
For instance, at Zango polling unit in Kofar Nassarawa where about 1600 voters were registered, not more than 600 were allowed to vote owing to the problem of names missing in the master list.
At Hausawa Primary School polling station, voting did not begin until around 1.00pm, just like in Tamburawa ward and many other places in the hinterland.
As at the time of filling this report, the election in Kano could be described as near peaceful as no incident of major violence has been recorded so far.
By Maduabuchi Nmeribeh/Kano