A correspondent who visited some of the polling units in Garki – area 2, area 1, area 10, area 3, area 7 and area 8, report that the voter turnout was abysmally low.
At a polling unit in area 7, as at 8:00 a.m. when a correspondent visited, only three voters were sighted on the ground and ready to vote.
NAN reports that in all the polling units visited, the ad-hoc staff were on the ground and some of them were already set to begin accreditation. At area 1 primary school which has the highest number of voters, less than 50 voters were on the ground as at the time of this report, compared to over 2000 voters who were present at about the same time during the Presidential election.
Unlike in the Presidential and National Assembly polls, the streets around polling units were not filled up with cars, while the roads were very empty. Some of those at the polling units who spoke to a correspondent said that the voter apathy was not unconnected with the February 23rd elections.
At area 1 Primary school, Mr Joseph Peter who was seen in night wears just strolling out of his house, said he was only coming to see the situation “not to vote” Peter said he had gone through so much stress during the presidential election and was not happy with the final results hence his decision to boycott voting.
“After all we went through during the presidential election and then it was rigged, that means that our votes do not count.
“Why should I go and stress myself to vote today? You would see that many Nigerians will not vote today because they are unhappy,” he added.
At area 2 National Library polling Unit 006, (National Library), an Engineer Mr Uche Alex also said that the voters were unhappy with the presidential election results.
“At the last election, people really came out en masse to vote for their preferred candidate, but at the end of the results they were seeing did not reflect what they voted for.
“You can imagine when you have voted and you see results being manipulated, it means that INEC is not independent as it should be. “In some states, people were disenfranchised, even in Abuja here. In some places in Nasarawa elections did not hold. In places where there was electoral violence, instead of you to conduct a fresh election you cancelled it and released few.
“What they are going to witness especially in Abuja is total voters apathy. In the states, people may come out to vote for their governors but in Abuja it would be total apathy. “See this polling unit, it is almost 8:00 am and there is nobody here and that is how it is going to remain because people are angry that their votes do not count, so there is no need coming out to waste your time,” he said.
A correspondent report that some meters close to the polling units, over 20 men were seated in clusters and chatting. When asked if they were there to vote, few of them chorused in pidgin English: “For wetin” (For what reason).
One of them went on to add: “after them, don rig our election you want to make we still come vote,” (After our elections were rigged do you still want us to vote?)
Other respondents who spoke to a correspondent also corroborated that the results of the last election did not reflect the will of the people, hence the apathy.
A female official of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) who just arrived a polling unit also said in passing: “I knew people will not come, I said it, I said it. Not after wasting their time in the last election.”
However, a party agent at the Ward 005, Area 2 recreational park, attributed the low turnout to lack of interest in local elections. He said that Nigerians were more interested in Presidential and National Elections than the chairmanship and counsellorship elections. “You know in Nigeria we pick interest in national elections more than local elections, what is going on today is a local election and that is why the parties engage more canvassers to get people to come and vote.
“Many of the residents of the FCT do not even know what the chairmen or counsellors do. Many people just complain about tenement rates and ground rent. “I believe the time between the national election and local election is too short so there was not enough time to canvass,” he said.
Speaking on the connection between the apathy and results of the last elections, he said that indeed the result of the Presidential elections in some places didn’t reflect the will of the people. (NAN)
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