2019 Elections:Low Voter Turnout in South East
Low turnout of voters are witnessed in most parts of the polling units visited in the South East of Enugu, Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi and Imo States.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondents who monitor the elections in some parts of the zone reports that few voters are seen trickling to their various polling centres as at 10a.m.
Although, the exercise has so far been peaceful, only little security presence was observed as compared to the Presidential/National Assembly Elections of Feb. 23.
NAN reports that INEC officials and materials arrived early in most centres visited in the zone.
At Onitsha in Anambra, voting commenced at 8.50a.m as materials arrived as early as 7 a.m.
At Polling Unit 010 and 011, Achukwu Hall 1, Ward 2, Odoakpu in Onitsha South, voting commenced at 8.50 am with about 15 persons voting as at 9.30a.m.
However, Miss Julie Eze, the YPP Agent at the polling unit complained that only 600 ballot papers were brought to the polling unit as against the 754 registered voters in the unit.
The PDP agent, Mrs. Eugenia Ozougwu while corroborating Eze’s complain appealed to INEC to complete the ballot papers.
In an interview the Electoral Officer of INEC in charge of Onitsha North, Mr. Samuel Nimem said all electoral materials had been distributed to all units as early as 7am.
“No challenges so far, except for security personnel who are to be attached to polling units are not in some polling units.
“The Divisional Police Officer has assured that security officers would be sent to those areas”, he said.
In Aba, Abia, voting in Osisioma local government and Aba South local governments commenced at about 8 :00 am on Saturday as INEC ad-hoc staff had deployed to work arrived as early as 7 a.m.
However, in some centres, INEC staff were ready waiting for voters to come and perform their civic responsibilities.
At Ngwa High school, although the electoral staff were ready, elections were yet to commence because there were no voters available.
Only one party agent working for the All Progressives Grand alliance (APGA) was also around to witness the commencement of voting.
Mr Evans Evuru, an APGA party agent who spoke to NAN at Ngwa High School centre said he reached the centre by 7 : 00 am while INEC staff came by 7 : 30 am.
He said voting was yet to start at the centre by 8 : 00 am because voters were not around to vote at commencement time.
However, no security agent was sited at the centre before our reporter left.
Meanwhile, soldiers were seen at strategic places at Aba manning road checkpoints.
At Constitution Crescent Primary school Ward 12, Units 5 to 9, in Aba South LGA, elections had begun by 8 :10 am.
Some personnel of the Customs and Excise and Policemen were on guard at the venue which also serves as a collation centre for Aba South LGA.
Voter turnout at the Constitution Crescent polling centre is however, impressive.
An INEC ad-hoc staff who spoke under anonymity said they were given all materials for the elections.
A voter, Mr Uchenna John expressed satisfaction with the exercise saying that the environment was calm and that voting was going on smoothly.
In Enugu State, there was voter apathy as very few of the electorate came out to vote.
At Enugu North and South Local Governments, many polling stations witnessed low turnout of voters while materials and INEC officials were on ground to attend to voters.
At St. Luke, Obiagu ward 4 in Enugu North, an adhoc staff who spoke in anonymity expressed dismay at the development adding that it was different from the situation during the Feb. 23 presidential and National Assembly elections.
Some of the voters who spoke to NAN said that the people were not happy with the outcome of the Presidential election.
According to him, we are not happy with the result of the Presidential election because our vote did not count.
However, Mrs Mary Okwu at ward 13, Igbariam Primary School said the process had been going well compared to the presidential election.
Mr JohnPaul Umezuo, an observer of Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) at ward 13, said that the process was better than the Feb. 23 elections.
“The card readers are able to dictate the thumb print of most voters, thereby, making it better than that of presidential election process,” he said.
NAN reports that governorship election is holding in four states of the zone except Anambra with only state assembly election and a rerun in Idemili and Ogbaru Federal Constituency. (NAN)