ABIA GUBER: LOW TURN OUT OF VOTERS RECORDED IN POLLING UNITS ACROSS THE STATE.
Chinwe Ugele, Umuahia.
The governorship and house of Assembly election held today Saturday 9th March, 2019, turned out to be a shadow of the national elections of February 23, in terms of turn out.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), to a large extent kept to its word by ensuring the materials and officials arrive various polling units before 8 am.
However, the INEC officials met almost empty units with no sign of voters in some places and very few of them in other places.
Political party agents actually outnumbered the electorate in some units as some of them express shock at the apathy of the voters.
One presiding officer interviewed in a polling unit in BATA, Aba, said even though they commenced accreditation and voting at exactly 8am, they did not witness the numbers they had envisaged.
Some electorate interviewed said the level of apathy was unprecedented and scandalous.
While some blamed it on distrust of the process, others say the outcome of the presidential and National Assembly election discouraged people from coming out to vote.
In Aba, some persons alluded to the ethnic messages that characterized the governorship campaigns and decided to stay indoors and not participate.
By 2pm, voting had ended in most units because there were no more voters on the queue to cast their ballots.
In Umuahia, Obingwa, Aba and Isuikwuato, the exercise was largely peaceful except for the reported rampant cases of vote buying by some political parties who were giving voters between N500 to N1000 each.
The presence of EFCC officials when alerted on such activities in some units, helped control the rather unfortunate electoral mal practice.
The police also arrested some party agents from brass road in Aba for alleged multiple thumb printing of ballot papers in the full glare of the people.
This election may have recorded yet the worst number of voters turn out and participation in any election in Nigeria.