Vote buying, threats mar Sokoto rerun election

The Saturday’s rerun elections in Sokoto were marred by vote buying, threats and fake agents, Daily Trust has observed.

Our reporter, who monitored the Sokoto-North/Sokoto South federal constituency rerun election, saw voters displaying their ballot paper to show the party voted for before casting their vote.

“This is the condition given to them by the vote buyers, and after casting the vote, they go and collect their money,” one of the election observers said.

A voter, who is also a civil servant, alleged that some individuals were assigned to polling units to monitor whom the voters cast their votes for at the elections.

“I am a civil servant. I don’t want to lose my job because we are being monitored by some individuals assigned to each of the affected polling units. Their assignment is to see which party we voted for and report back,” the civil servant who craved for anonymity, said.

However, the Publicity Secretary of PDP, Abdullahi Hausawa, denied this allegation, saying there was nobody assigned by either the party or government to monitor voters at polling units.

“This is just a fabricated lies by members of APC who foresee defeat, thus decided to spread lies in order to discredit the elections before the announcement of final results,” he said.

An official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), confirmed identifying fake party agents in some polling units in the area.

Meanwhile, there was a large turnout of voters during the election.

Three security personnel were drafted at each polling unit to maintain peace and order just as well armed security operatives were seen patrolling the areas where the rerun elections were taking place.

At Keta Yabo 028 polling unit in Sokoto south, voters were manually accredited due to failed card reader.

The Presiding Officer, Ifeanyi Chira, said the card reader was not identifying finger prints of voters and after reporting the problem, they were asked to accredit voters manually.

In an interview with newsmen, the Governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the last general election, Ahmed Aliyu, commended the electoral body for making adequate arrangement.

He said voting started on time in most of the polling units.

He also commended security agencies for the maintenance of peace and order in polling units.

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