The presidential and National Assembly elections may have come and gone, but the irregularities recorded during the polls remain in the minds of Nigerians.
Technical glitches on INEC’s server as cited by the commission, the late arrival of election materials, and violence among other flaws characterized the last presidential and National Assembly elections.
At every gathering, regardless of its affiliation, politics has dominated public discourse in Nigeria for several months, either online or offline, courtesy of the ongoing General Election.
The situation has been aggravated by the outcome of the last presidential election as INEC blamed technical flaws for failing to upload the election results contrary to its stipulated guidelines.
Losing political parties got agitated over the irregularities at the polls. They opted for litigation but the ruling APC which was declared the winner of the presidential vote expectedly accepted its outcome.
Since then, there have been divergent opinions on the mood of Nigerians especially Kano residents on the possibility of voter apathy in the coming guber and state assembly elections.
But some residents of the ancient city believe there would be light at the end of the tunnel and they are ready to get involved in the entire elections circle until the process improves.
“Despite the irregularities during the presidential election, I will still come out and vote during the governorship elections because it is my duty to elect the candidate of my choice,” Aliyu Haidar says.
“We all know what happened but this is the time for a change. I plan to be at my polling unit as early as 6 am, so I am encouraging everyone to come out and vote,” Bilal Haruna quips in.
Adamu Saleh Daurawa holds that it is his duty as a Nigerian to vote.
“So, I will vote for my candidate during the gubernatorial elections so I can hold him responsible if he fails to deliver as promised,” he says.
While INEC is consequently losing its credibility, the president of Civil Society Organizations in Kano, Ibrahim Waiya, opines that the commission could restore the citizens’ confidence if it can resolve the glitches identified at the last election.
“INEC failed to upload the presidential and National Assembly election results on its server, which makes many people question the elections' credibility. So for them to win Nigerians again, they must transmit the governorship results on their server,” he says.
INEC’s spokesman in Kano, Adam Ahmed Maulud, assures that that wouldn’t be a problem as it is set to correct the abnormalities.
He promises that the commission will transmit the results from the polling units on Saturday.
“Yes, what happened during the concluded election was technical problems, but we have sorted out everything now,” he says.
“Let me assure you that we will transmit the governorship results on our server as promised”.
Security is another source of concern in Kano, but 18,748 security personnel have been deployed to man the 11,222 Polling Units across the State.
The police spokesman, SP Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawa gives a 100 percent security assurance.
“As you know we have 18,748 personnel for the election, so as we speak we have deployed them to their respective post to ensure a peaceful election. We want to assure residents in the State that we are ready to protect their lives and properties”, he says.
There are more than 5.7 million registered voters in the state and about 2.1 million voted in the 2015 governorship elections.
That figure rose to 2.2 million in 2019.
And as Kano residents go to the polls again on Saturday, we hope that the figure will improve to address voter apathy just as expectations remain high on the conduct of violence-free elections.