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Fears of vote buying, as Bauchi women kiss ballot paper, shout ‘Sai Baba’ before voting

Nigerians checking their names on INEC voters' register

By Ayinde Abdulsaheed Olaide

Some female voters at a polling unit in Bauchi caused a stir when each of them kissed her ballot paper and shouted “Sai Baba” before casting her vote.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the drama, involving four women, occurred at the veterinary polling unit of Dawaki Ward in Bauchi metropolis.

Their action raised suspicions that the women might have mistaken the Bauchi South Senatorial by-election  for the forthcoming general election, which will feature President Muhammadu Buhari as a contestant.

Or that they were made to shout the words to reassure their handlers that they voted right, and deserved whatever remuneration they might have been promised after the voting.

“Sai Baba” is the common phrase used by supporters of President Buhari while campaigning for him.

The Presiding Officer in charge of the polling unit, Miss Faiza Mohammed, said that turnout of women was impressive, with some of them, over-enthusiastic.

“The women are very excited and eager to cast their votes; some of them were kissing their ballot papers and shouting ‘sai Baba’ before casting their votes.

“I do not know which ‘Baba’ they are referring to,” she said.