Live Stream
Radio Ndarason Internationale


Low turnout as All Progressives Congress wins local government elections in Borno State

22 January 2024
Reading time: 4 minutes

Governor says local government elections need to be enhanced to encourage more people at grassroots level to participate

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) political party has won the chairmanship of all 27 local government areas as well as the 312 councillor positions in Borno State.

The local government elections were held on Saturday, January 20.

There was a poor turnout in what was only the second local government elections held since the beginning of the insurgency in 2009. The first was held in 2020.

Some citizens told RNI that they were not even aware the elections were taking place on Saturday.

Although all six political parties in Nigeria – the APC, Peoples Democratic Party, New Nigeria People’s Party, Social Democratic Party, Labour Party and the Allied People’s Movement  – were represented in the elections, it was clear early in the polling that the ruling party was likely to win.

RNI’s community reporter in Damboa, Alkali Mustapha, said the turnout for the local elections was “quite different” to that for the general elections held in February last year.

“Hardly anyone turned up to vote. People did not show much interest in the elections and some people in the district were not even aware that elections were taking place on Saturday.

“When asked whether they were taking part in the elections, many would-be voters answered: ‘What elections?’

“Many of the election polling units did not even open. In Damboa there are about 100 polling units but because of the lack of interest, only 15 polling stations were open for voting.”

Abatcha Bukar Tela, RNI’s community reporter in the Dikwa Local Government Area, said there were about 40 polling units in the district but only five were operating on Saturday.

“This was mainly due to the low number of people who turned out to vote in the district. Throughout the day there were four or five people casting their votes at their polling unit.

“All six political parties were contesting the elections, but it was soon quite obvious that the APC would win.”

Babagana Umara Zulum, the governor of Borno State, who cast his ballot in the Mafa Local Government Area, was quoted as saying: “Our electoral process has to be enhanced, the process has to be modest and then we need honest people to contest for elections and we also want voters who can tell the difference, voters who can choose the best without sentiments.

“Elections at the local government level have not been consistent and are not conducted at the due time. This has to be corrected and, henceforth, we shall ensure that elections at the local government level are done as and when they are due. The quality of the elections will also be improved.”

He said there was a need for people at grassroots level to participate actively in the elections, emphasising the need for all citizens of the state to take the elections seriously so that they could have their say in the running of their local districts.

Lawan Maina, the chairman of the Borno State Independent Electoral Commission, said internally displaced persons originally from Guzamala, Abadam, Kala-Balge and Marte – who had not yet been resettled in their ancestral hometowns – would cast their ballots in IDP camps in the neighbouring Nganzai, Damasak, Ngala and Monguno local government areas.

Maina declared the results of the elections on Sunday in Maiduguri, the state’s capital.

“In my position as the chief returning officer of the state, I read out the results as follows: The ruling party, APC, won all the 27 local government chairmen in the state.

“Equally, the ruling party has won all the 312 council members [councillors] in all the wards of the state.

“With this, we have come to the end of this exercise and the certificate presentation to the winners will be made at a later date to be announced soon,” Maina said.



About the author