Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has declared his willingness to accept the outcome of the Saturday’s governorship election result irrespective of where the poll’s pendulum swing.
The governor noted that the delay in the arrival of ballot papers, which were later ferried into the state on the Election Day, was as a result of the delay caused by bad weather even as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had to hastily reprint the ballots to include the logo of the Labour Party (LP) which was initially missing.
The governor, who spoke to journalists shortly after casting his vote at about 4pm in his Lamisula-Jabarmari ward of Maiduguri, the state capital, said INEC deserved commendation given the way and manner it was able to conduct the elections in spite of the teething challenges it faced on the use of card readers.
“I am willing to accept the outcome of the election. I am a democrat; we are already a traumatised people; whatever the outcome, we should be willing to accept, stoically, the voice of the people. We don’t have to plunge our state, which is already down, into a state of anarchy. If any other candidate wins I will be ready to embrace that person and wish him well.
“On the late arrival of ballot papers, we have to give INEC some credit because of the bad weather, they are ferrying the items from Yola in Adamwa. They just called a stakeholders meeting to brainstorm on the affected four local government areas that were not able to get their ballot papers on time. But my honest take on it is that no matter how late it might be it is better for people to cast their votes today. If it means they will wait for the next four hours so be it.
“But luckily all the four local government areas – Ngala, Nganzai, Bama and Gwoza are casting their votes right here in the camps. We have to commend the people of Borno because they really turn out in quite an impressive number. The number of people that participated at the presidential and national assembly election have been quadrupled by the turn out we recorded in the states elections. The beauty of it all was that the whole thing was conducted in the most peaceful manner. In any contest there has to be a winner and a loser. Honestly I was quite delighted by the conduct of the election.
“On the card reader issue, I guess it has it has improved this time around; may be because the boys handling the device have learned on the job and it makes the accreditation go faster. In most cases the people were accredited within two hours and the people returned back to their homes waiting for ballot papers to arrive”, Governor Shettima said.