Kaduna 2023: El-Rufai alleges voter intimidation in Southern Kaduna
Governor Nasir el-Rufa’i of Kaduna state has alleged that reports reaching him from Southern Kaduna, indicated that voters were forced to vote for a certain political party and go home.
The Governor, however, assured that security operatives that have been stationed in the area will respond to the situation. He however lamented poor turnout of voters in many parts of the state.
According to him, “what I am seeing in the turnout is a little bit low compared to the presidential election.
“We already received reports of voter intimidation particularly in Southern Kaduna. But I think the main concern is that INEC has done very well. In most of the polling units voting started 8am to 8:30am, voting started on time, INEC has improved and I hope that the way they have started, they will end that way.
“The process was seamless, the BVAS identified me. Generally speaking the process has been free across the state, except in Southern Kaduna where we got reports of voter intimidation. The security are stepping into the situation and there is robust security arrangement in place.
“We anticipated some levels of violence but by the Grace of God, there is no report of violence. Robust security arrangement were put in place, in response to that intelligence, so far so good I just hope that more people will come out, voter turnout still appears a little low,” El-Rufai said.
Southern Kaduna was a PDP stronghold and the home base of Labour Party gubernatorial candidate, Hon. Jonathan Asake.
At the LEA Primary School Kawo Kaduna where the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Sen. Uba Sani cast his vote, the school compound which served as a cluster of four polling units, was sparsely populated. The APC gubernatorial candidate was ushered into the primary school with a hoopla by a horde of his supporters as he came in to cast his vote.
Speaking after casting his vote, Sen. Uba Sani decried the poor turnout of voters at the polling units and in many parts across the states, while urging voters to come out and carryout their civic duty. He however commended the smooth electoral process in the state and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for improving on the challenges they faced during the presidential election.
Shortly after Uba Sani cast his vote, Governor Nasir el-Rufai came to the polling unit presumably to show solidarity to the gubernatorial hopeful, Uba Sani. The Governor who dressed in a casual T shirt and trousers, appeared calm and unperturbed, waving to the people, who continued to cheer him, noting that el-Rufai was a native of the area and had his early education at the LEA Primary School Kawo.
Before then, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, also a native of the area and cousin to Governor el-Rufai, visited the Primary school and went round to assess what was going on and observed the voting process.