It is election day in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as residents go to the polls to elect chairmen and councillors for the six area councils.
Area councils where the exercise is taking place are Abaji, Bwari, Gwagwalada, Kuje, Kwali, and Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is conducting the elections with support from the security agencies and other stakeholders.
It is the only council poll conducted by the electoral umpire and 473 candidates from 14 political parties are expected to contest in the polls.
Of the figure, 363 contestants are vying for the 62 councillorship positions in the six area councils.
The elections are conducted regularly and consistently every three years, including bye-elections as the need arises.
Days before the elections, INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, told stakeholders at a meeting that the electoral umpire was prepared to conduct the exercise.
Some of the actions taken, he stated, included conducting Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) over a period of six months, printing of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and making them available for collection by the electorate.
According to the INEC chief, there are enough ad-hoc staff engaged and trained for the election, and non-sensitive materials were promptly deployed to the various area councils.
He had revealed that the electoral umpire procured non-pharmaceutical materials to protect voters and its personnel from COVID-19, in line with its policy based on the protocols prescribed by health authorities.
“Transport arrangements have been made, including motorcycles for remote locations and boats for riverine areas,” he said during the meeting held on Tuesday. “We shall deploy assistive devices such as braille ballot guide and magnifying glasses for the physically challenged voters.”
More to follow…