Early but low Voter turnout in Taraba 

BY Ene Okwanihe, Taraba

Early Voter turnout in Taraba. Women on separate queue

The Governorship and States house of Assembly elections in Jalingo the capital of Taraba state North-East Nigeria so far has been largely characterised by early voter turn-out and early arrival of INEC staff in most parts visited.

As at 7:30 am this morning in Jalingo metropolis Voters were seen maintaining queues waiting for the arrival of election officials for commencement of voting process.

At the Sabon Gari Primary School Turaki Ward B which houses 9 polling units, INEC officials were on ground as early as 7:30 am waiting for 8:am for voting to commence.

Security men and party agents were also on ground.

Voters were seen waiting around patiently and in an orderly manner. They formed two queues; one for male and the other for female voters. Voice of Nigeria observed that the number of female voters were almost at par with the number of male voters on the different queues.

At the Mallam Shabi Junction Polling unit 001 which houses three polling units, the INEC officials were a little behind schedule. At 7:40am Saturday morning. Though voters were around, there were no officials on ground; a situation the voters were not happy about. Many of them said that they were worried that what happened during the Presidential elections where INEC officials arrived late may repeat itself.

It was also observed that there was low voter turnout especially in the state capital, Jalingo compared to the presidential elections.

A local observer Mallam Umar Khali Umar who spoke to voice of Nigeria at the Mallam Shabi junction polling unit 001, said compared to the Presidential elections the turn out for the Governorship and state House of Assembly elections is low.

He attributed the turn out to the late arrival of electoral officials at the last election, though he said he is hopeful that voters will still come out later when they hear news about the presence of the INEC officials at the Polling Units..

He added that officials arrived at past 10am during the Presidential elections while during this Governorship they arrived at 8:07 am which is an improvement from the last time.