Voters in the Kubwa area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Saturday, expressed hope for a new Nigeria in the ongoing presidential and National Assembly elections.
The voters, who trooped out as early as 6:30 am to verify their names on the Independent National Electoral Commission registration lists, vowed to sacrifice their time and daily activities for a peaceful election and outcome.
Our correspondent observes that security personnel were present at the polling units to ensure the smooth and peaceful conduct of the election.
This year’s elections will mark 24 years of uninterrupted democracy in the country.
Today’s election will decide who will be Nigeria’s President in the next four years and decide the fate of 1,101 candidates, who are vying for 109 senatorial seats, and 3,122 candidates for House of Representatives seats, making a total of 4,223 candidates contesting for 469 legislative positions.
Some of the voters in Kubwa who spoke with our correspondent urged eligible Nigerians to exercise their civic responsibility to decide a new phase for the country.
The first voter at the Arab road water board junction settlement polling unit, Kubwa, Dupe Oshundele, who cast her vote at 9:06am, expressed optimism at the outcome of the election.
“The last eight years have been with lots of issues but I’m hopeful for a new Nigeria because everything is tiring, there’s no job, no security, no water, people are living in fear, everything is discouraging in the country.
“I hope for a better Nigeria and I pray everything works again after this election.”
Dupe’s husband, Olutayo Oshundele, who was the second voter at the polling unit, said this year’s election will give birth to a new Nigeria.
“This is the time everyone has been waiting for, this is the deciding moment because we are tired of the situation in the country.
“I came here with my wife because we have to decide our future, the future of our children and I’m encouraged by the turnout today. I hope for a better and new Nigeria,” he said.
Also, a 69-year-old voter, Matthew Adio said he came to exercise his civic responsibility and urged other voters to conduct themselves peacefully.
The sexagenarian said “It is my civic responsibility to vote and I came out today to exercise it. I hope for a new Nigeria and as you can see, many people are here to vote as well.”
At the Liberty junction by Guinness Depot Polling Unit in Kubwa, Pastor Jude Odozi said he is unperturbed by the scorching sun and he is ready to wait until he casts his vote.
“This is a sacrifice we have to pay for a new Nigeria. I am optimistic and even if the INEC staff say their ink is exhausted, I will get a new one for them. If anything stops working here, I am ready to assist them.
“We have to vote for what we want in the country. This is our country and we can’t be tired today,” he said.
A reverend sister, Sylvia Anyanwu called for a peaceful election in the country.
Anyanwu said, “It’s a day we have been waiting for and every eligible Nigerian must vote. We hope for a new Nigeria.”