With the news of fresh upsurge and incidents of killings in some communities across Zamfara State, many observers were skeptical of the possibility of conducting a successful governorship/state assembly election on March 9, 2019 as scheduled by the independent national electoral commission (INEC).
Prior to the fixed date, LEADERSHIP had reported that there were cases of attack in some communities in Anka, Tsafe , Bungudu, Gusau, Shinkafi and Zurmi local government areas days after the conduct of the presidential/national assembly election where no fewer than 100 persons were killed.
It was assumed that the security challenge would disrupt the electoral ties in the state. But, ironically, the governorship/state assembly election went successfully without record of attack in any ward or polling units.
The political class however, had some minor disagreements during the distribution of sensitive materials at the Central Bank where Sen. Saidu Dansadau and Governor Yari’s aide, Sani Garba traded vulgar words.
But politics being what it is, the political gladiators went to the polls with their supporters.
The electorate turnout was in two categories, while, Gusau, Zamfara state capital recorded low turnout.
In major polling stations electorate did not shown up in good time, but the situation was relatively fair in some local government areas, such as Maradun, Talata Mafara and Bakura where there were reports that voters turned out massively leading to polling booths being filled to capacity.
In some of the polling units which include, Gagangaren Sarkin Asking, 044, JNI, Danturai, Mayana, GRA, Tudun Wada, Army Barrack 09, Birnin Ruwa polling booths visited by our reporter, it was observed that, the election officials were stranded waiting for voters to come and cast their votes.
Our reporter observed that, the election started around 8:00am in some of the polling booths in Gusau metropolis as there were security operatives comprising of the Police, Army, NSCDC, Immigration Service, DSS going up and down to ensure peaceful election exercise within Gusau the state capital.
In an interview, one of the INEC Ad Hoc staff in Gangaren Sarkin Aski polling unit, who refused to disclose his identity said, they came out on time and spent more than one and a half hours waiting for voters to come.
“As you can see, we are all stranded waiting for voters to come and exercise their civic rights and we have no options than to wait until the time of closure of the election as stipulated by INEC”. He said.
In an interview with journalists, the state deputy governor, Malam Ibrahim Wakkala shortly after he cast his vote at Katsauri Garkar Sarki 020 polling unit in Gusau, expressed satisfaction with the way voting is going smoothly.
PDP governorship candidate, Hon. Bello Matawalle expressed satisfaction with the security arrangements in the state.
He called on the electorate to be law abiding and channel their grievances to appropriate authorities.