FCT Elections: Vulnerable groups receive priority attention in Kwali

Nigeria-Election-Voters-Casting-Vote-650x433Vulnerable groups are given preferential treatment, as they exercise their franchise in FCT council elections.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in all the polling centres visited in Kwali Area Council, the aged, pregnant women, nursing mothers and persons with physical disabilities received better treatment in all the accreditation and voting processes.

NAN also reports that election materials arrived at four out of the seven major polling units before 7:00 a.m.

At Polof Polling Unit, the Presiding Officer, Mr Paul Ogbede said: “We are attending to persons with physical disabilities first.

“’Look at this blind woman, she has done her accreditation and she has voted; she is just waiting for her guide to take her home.’’

At the Primary Health Centre Polling Unit, NAN reports that there as a large turnout of voters who were willing to vote.

The Presiding Officer, Mr Samuel Adebayo, said that the security personnel in the area were not adequate initially, adding, however, that there were no security breaches as voter accreditation and voting had started.

A local observer, Ms Bamgbaiye Olasade, told NAN that the election had been peaceful and orderly while the materials arrived early.

“We have been here since 7:00 a.m. and we met the electoral officials here; they’ve been meticulous, arranging and getting set. Besides, many people came out to vote, even before that time.”

Mr Joseph Shazin, a candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwali, who came to the polling unit around 9:00a.m., said that even though the card readers were a bit sluggish, the process was not chaotic.

Mr Samuel Ndekwe, an agent of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), also said that everything was going on smoothly.

“I’ve been to almost all the seven major polling units and there is an impressive turnout of voters. I will still go round the four other polling units that were just added recently,’’ he said.

A blind, aged woman at the polling centre told NAN: “I had to come out. Although I can’t see, I asked the agent to put my hand on the party I wanted and she did.

“’My thumb was dipped into ink and I put it in the exact spot. I hope it counts,’’ she said.

NAN reports that there was an impressive turnout of women voters in all polling units visited; while a few voters complained of not finding their names on the list, others described the exercise as peaceful.

NAN recalls that the FCT council elections, earlier scheduled for March 19, were postponed to April 9 as a result of the lack of personnel.

INEC had complained of inadequate ad hoc staff and the commission later trained 10,000 additional workers for the elections.

Meanwhile, accreditation and voting have started simultaneously, unlike in the past where voting could only begin at the end of voter accreditation.

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