Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, on Saturday, delivered his polling unit for President Muhammadu Buhari with 182 votes while the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, scored 25.
The governor also wielded his political strength in the polling unit where Senator Shehu Sani contested on the platform of the People’s Redemption Party, by ensuring that his candidate who contested on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Uba Sani, polled 236, while Sani scored 51.
El-Rufai, who got to his polling unit 024 in Agwa Seriki area of the metropolis at 9:20am, spent four hours in the queue before he was accredited and voted around 1:15pm.
The situation was, however, different in the polling unit of Senator Shehu Sani, which is also located in Agwa Seriki ward, as the PRP senatorial candidate was accredited and voted within 30 minutes.
Sani’s main challenger, who is the APC candidate in the senatorial district, Uba Sani, also got accredited and voted within 30 minutes of arriving at his polling unit 41 in Kawo ward.
Speaking with journalists after casting his vote, El-Rufai expressed gratitude to God for the peaceful atmosphere and commended the people of the state for exercising patience despite the delay in the voting process.
He said, “I must commend the people for their patience and resilience despite the failure of card readers and the late arrival of materials in some areas of the state”
The governor stated that he had urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to extend the time of the exercise to accommodate all the registered voters affected by the delay.
Shehu Sani also told journalists after casting his vote that the peaceful atmosphere that pervaded the exercise vindicated his earlier position that there was no security issue in the state.
He said, “The voting was supposed to start by 8am but here we are at 10am, we have yet to start. The atmosphere appears secured and there is no fear, no threat of violence as has been rumoured and we hope that this will be sustained.
“Of major concern to us also are not just those who are voting in the cities and urban areas but what happens in rural areas remotely connected to the towns, especially places with security challenges.”
Meanwhile, wife of the Kaduna State Governor, Ummi Aisha el-Rufai, said she was disappointed with the turnout of voters at her polling unit 024(A) Runka Street, Kaduna North, Unwgan Sarki area. Ummi is the third wife of the governor.
She, however, expressed hope that voters would turn up later in the day.
Earlier, the late arrival of voting materials and officials of INEC in many of the polling units, especially in the southern part of the state, almost marred the exercise.
Some angry youths in Sabo, Chikun Local Government Area of the state, had a confrontation with military personnel while protesting the delay in the commencement of the exercise in their area.
The youths alleged a deliberate attempt by the ruling APC to frustrate them because of their resolve to vote for an opposition political party in the southern part of the state.