By Ndahi Marama, Damaturu
Governor Mai Mala Buni has commended the orderly , peaceful and transparent manner in which Local Government Chairmanship and Councillorships Elections have been conducted by Yobe State Independent Electoral Commission (YBSIEC) across the 17 Local Government Areas.
This is even as the Governor who was accompanied by former Borno State Governor, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and other top echelons of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was very excited as he cast his first Vote about 1:15 pm on Saturday at his polling Unit in his hometown, Buni Gari since over a decade Boko Haram crisis.
He said the success of the exercise in Buni Gari and other parts of 178 wards across the state manifested that peace has returned, which would strengthen the people’s confidence in the Local Government administration in the state.
Buni who is the Chairman ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee disclosed this shortly after casting his vote at Bulturi Yerimari Lewa Gate Code 004, Buni Gari, his Polling Unit in Gujba Local Government Area.
The Governor who spoke of the local government election as significant pointed out that it marks the first elective transition in the third tier of government since assumption into office precisely in May 2019.
He commended the election umpire, YBSIEC under the Executive Secretary, Dr Mamman Mohammed, for preparedness and high standards maintained in the conduct of the exercise, urging them to sustain the tempo.
His words; ” I am very impressed to cast my first vote alongside my people in Buni Gari. As you are aware since the emergence of Boko Haram over a decade ago, and my people were unable to cast our votes in this place. The whole of Buni Gari and the entire Gujba Local Government Area were hitherto displaced, and we normally cast our votes in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital. But we thank Allah (God) for making it possible for us to exercise our franchise here in Buni Gari my hometown after the restoration of peace in all nooks and crannies of the state.
“We also want to thank President Muhammadu Buhari and our security agencies for the commitment towards ending the menace of insurgency and other criminalities in the state and the country as a whole.
“I think this is one of the most peaceful Local Government elections we’ve ever had. I reiterate, I drove all the way from Damaturu down here to my home town Buni Gari to exercise my franchise and also tried to monitor situations on my way. Its been quite peaceful. I like the large turn out and orderliness, the peaceful conduct of the elections. I’m also impressed with the preparedness of YBSIEC, the quality of materials, the conduct, I think it’s very commendable”, Buni Said.
Reacting to the elections in an interview, Senator Ali Sheriff congratulated the government and people of Yobe State for a hitch-free election.
He said the peaceful conducts demonstrated Governor Buni’s inclusive governance and leadership style devoid of any tribal or political affiliations.
Senator Sheriff however expressed optimism that APC candidates would emerge victorious after the polls across the state.
On whether Sheriff is eyeing for the position of National Chairman of the ruling APC, he said, ” In APC, we have respect to the constitution of our great party, and if the position of the national chairman is been zoned to the North East where I came from, I will contest God willing”. The sheriff said with laughter.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary YOSIEC, Dr Mohammed in an interview said; ” Two hundred and seven candidates from six political parties are vying for chairmanship and councillorship in the polls which cut across the 17 local governments and 178 wards with 1, 714 polling units.”
Our Correspondent observed that there was a massive turnout of voters who conducted themselves peacefully in Gujba, Potiskum local government areas, Damaturu metropolis and its environs amidst tight security and independent Observers.