The collation of votes for the presidential election in Borno state, North-East Nigeria, has been postponed to 4pm due to the absence of political party representatives at Multipurpose Hall 5 of the Kashim Ibrahim College of Education, Maiduguri, venue of the exercise.
The Presidential Collation Officer, Prof. Jude Rabo, announced this shortly after the session began at 01:25 pm.
Whereupon discovering that no party representatives were around, Rabo halted the exercise until 04:00 pm, saying the exercise cannot proceed without them.
The delays bedevilling the electoral exercise in Borno State are not new.
As of Saturday, our correspondent observed that at the Shettima Kukawa Polling Unit 023, Lawan Bukar Ward, where the APC Vice Presidential Candidate, Kashim Shettima, voted, electoral materials did not arrive until 10:42 am, over two hours after voting was supposed to begin.
Shettima had appeared at the polling unit to vote but left as no officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission were on the ground.
He later returned to cast his vote.
Meanwhile, an official who spoke to The PUNCH attributed the absence of party representatives at the collation to an outbreak of a major fire incident which razed the popular Maiduguri Monday Market in the wee hours of Sunday.
The Official said the representatives were most likely affected directly or had family members and close friends who were affected.
When The PUNCH visited sections of the market, hundreds of traders were spotted struggling to salvage the remnant of their goods.
Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, who went around the burning market, Sunday morning, announced N1bn relief for the victims, promising to see the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), immediately for more relief.