Voters in parts of Kano, Sokoto, Plateau, Benue and Bauchi are heading back to the polling centres today eager to end days of apprehension caused by the March 9 inconclusive governorship and state assembly elections.
Although, the elections will take place in only a few parts of the affected states, the security agencies are leaving nothing to chances.
The Police yesterday announced a total restriction of vehicular and human movement in Kano and Plateau states.
Security is also being beefed up at flashpoints in Benue State with a view to protecting lives property and electoral materials.
Soldiers in Sokoto State extended their “Show of Force Exercise” to six violence-prone local government areas of the state ahead of the supplementary election.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bauchi State, which had threatened to boycott the election, announced that it was now ready for the election while the All Progressives Congress (APC) strongman in Benue State, Senator George Akume, boasted that nothing would save Governor Samuel Ortom from losing the election.
In Kano State, 128,324 voters will decide the fate of the incumbent Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of the APC and Abba Kabir Yusuf of the PDP in the supplementary polls in the state.
They will vote at 207 polling units spread across 28 local government areas.
Tension remained thick in the air last night as residents prayed for the election to come and go peacefully.
Governor Ganduje urged residents to remain calm and expect nothing short of victory for his party.
He said the PDP candidate and his supporters would be shocked today by the turn of events against them.
Ganduje further warned that the state government would not tolerate any breach of peace under whatever guise, assuring that his government would not fold its arms and watch people instigate instability.
According to him, “as the governor of Kano State and the chief security officer of the state, I cannot sleep if any drop of blood is wasted. Brandishing of harmful objects is also abhorred by my administration.
The PDP governorship candidate, Abba Kabir Yusuf was equally optimistic of carrying the day. His spokesperson, Sanusi Bature Dawakin-Tofa said: “We are known to be peace lovers and so we shall remain, as we are very sure of victory during the rerun.
“Our supporters should not forget that PDP is already leading in the last count of the election and interestingly, the rerun would take place in the strongest areas of our party.
“We urge everyone to keep hope alive in our quest to rescue Kano from the hands of corrupt leaders and agents of distraction.”
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Prof. Riskuwa Shehu Arabi, said three additional RECs from Zamfara, Kebbi and Ogun states had been deployed to Kano to ensure a successful exercise.
He said: “We are working to make sure that we don’t have any distraction. We have held series of meetings with stakeholders to review our strategies.
“We have also held meetings with leaders of both political parties, and we have made them to understand that the election is not a war.
“They have also promised to talk to their supporters to conduct themselves in peaceful manner. Securities agencies have assured us of adequate security.
“I am sure the Commissioner of Police has been talking to different groups of people, particularly the youths. I am very confident we will have a peaceful election on Saturday.”
Police Commissioner Mohammed Wakili warned trouble makers to steer clear of the polling centres.
“I warn that no one should test our might because we would not hesitate to clampdown on anyone who tries to disturb the peace enjoyed in the state,” he said.
He asked parents, traditional leaders as well as political leaders to ensure that their wards and supporters conduct themselves in a responsible manner during the supplementary elections.
The Police Command warned that there would be no vehicular or human movement in all the 44 local government areas of the state from 6am to 6pm today.
It said: “No vehicle, motorcycle or tricycle will be allowed to move between 0600hrs and 1800hrs on that day. Eligible voters are advised to take a walk to their polling stations. Inconvenience regretted, please.” – The Nation.