Saturday, March 18, 2023 11:40 am
By Jethro Ibileke
The ongoing State Assembly election in Edo state has witnessed very low turnout of voters in the three senatorial districts of the state.
Although election began much earlier in most polling centers, unlike during the presidential and national assembly elections, the turnout of electorate is abysmal.
P.M. News reports that only State Assembly election is holding in the Edo, as the the gubernatorial election is not holding until September next year.
Election into House of Representatives will however hold in Edo central. It would be recalled that the election had to be put on hold 25 February, following the omission of the Labour Party’s logo on the ballot paper.
Although voting commenced before 9 am at 10 polling units in Ward 4, Emokpae Primary School, in Benin, the number of voters were scanty, compared to the presidential and national assembly elections.
A voter who spoke on condition of anonymity attributed the low turnout to the outcome of the last elections which didn’t favour their preferred candidates.
Unlike the last elections, electoral materials arrived at the polling units in most of the areas visited by 7:30am; accreditation was seamless and ballot casting moving on peacefully.
At units 21 to 30 at Agbado Primary school, Igbesanmwam primary school, polling units 1 to 25, in ward 9 and George Idah, units 39, 03, 04, 05 and 44 and Pyne primary school, in ward 2; all in Oredo local government area, voting started at exactly 8.30 am.
A voter, Sylvester Asowata at Agbado Primary School said the low turnout of voters was due to that fact that they have lost confidence in the electoral process.
Asowata said: “I have just voted and as you can see, people did not come out for this election. The anger is that their votes did not count in the last presidential elections,” he said.
On his part, an Agent of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Omoregbe Israel, noted that voters have lost interest in the credibility of the process hence the low turnout.
Mr Robert Enoma, said he could explained the reason for the apathy, but said there was an improvement from the last elections.
He, however, urged INEC to improve on the process towards the consequent elections and transmit the result electronically.
The same was witnessed at the four polling units of ward 1, Garrick Memorial School. Very few voters were at the venue for voting.
A voter identified herself, Helen Emokpae, attributed the low turnout to the “unfavourable outcome” of the presidential election of 25 February.
According to her, youths that came out in their thousands during the last elections were not here today as a result of the final results declared by the Independent National Election Commission (INEC).
“They were not happy that their candidates did not win the elections particularly the presidential election,” she added.
Auchi, the administrative headquarters of Etsako West Local Government Area, also witnessed low turnout of voters.
In some polling units there were no queues as those who came to vote were promptly attended to by polling unit officials.
A voter, Monday Aijole, said the low turnout was as a result some violence at the poll
According to him, “A lot of people are skeptical about this election outcome because of the violence witness in some parts of Edo
“They are apprenhion and afraid of what will come out of the election.
“But, I think so far so good the atmosphere is peaceful as times go by people will come” he said.
The same scenario is reported across the length and breath of Edo Central.
What do you think?