Large turn-out of voters characterised the Plateau by-election at Nyelleng and Chip wards in Pankshin Local Government Area on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that INEC officials and Ad-hoc staff arrived at the polling units on time but accreditation and voting began by 8.15 a.m.
The polling units were both filled up with security operatives and 25 election observers, including foreign organisations, keeping watch over the conduct of the by-elections.
Among the electorate were the aged and under-age, who were also in the queues eager to cast their votes for candidates of their choice.
Mr Ayuba Emmanuel, INEC Presiding Officer, Nyelleng Polling unit, said all electoral materials, including sensitive ones were provided by the commission.
“We don’t have any problem at all as you could see we are very busy with accreditation and voting at the same time with everything going so smoothly.
“Our card readers are functioning well and we hope to capture the 1,756 registered voters in this polling unit; if there is any hiccup we shall use the incident forms, ’’ he said.
A 70-year-old voter, Mama Gobomg, said she had to come out to join others to exercise her civic right.
“Thank God I am still strong to be part of this democratic process and my prayer is that we shall complete this exercise peacefully, ’’ she said.
Commenting on the election, Mr Kuden Kamshak, the state Health Commissioner, described the turn-out as “very impressive and encouraging ’’.
Kamshak said that from the orderly and peaceful manner the electorate were conducting themselves, he was sure of successful and credible polls.
Two of the contestants in the Pankshin North Constituency, Mr Diket Plang (PDP) and Mrs Alice Dimlong (APC), expressed satisfaction with the turn-out and conduct of INEC ad-hoc staff.
“I could see from this election that Nigeria is coming of age in conduct of elections and this shows that our democracy is on the rise to catch up with the developed world, ’’ Plang said.
He promised to accept the outcome of the by-election as long as it was free and fair.
Dimlong on her part expressed the hope that there would not be any misgivings throughout the exercise so as not to discredit the effort of the government and the political parties.
She commended INEC for the effort in conducting the election and called on the electorate to maintain peace during and after the election.tweet