Voter Apathy Mars Rivers LG Polls

Admin 17-Apr-2021 Politics

There was a low turnout of voters during Saturday’s local government area elections in Rivers, The Nation Online has reported. 

Though the All Progressives Congress (APC) did not participate in the poll, other opposition candidates complained the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hijacked the process.

The Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) distributed sensitive and non-sensitive material for the poll on Friday to allow for early commencement of the process on Saturday.

But materials for the exercise were said to have arrived most polling units late, while people complained materials did not get to other units.

Most polling units had few voters while many residents preferred to stay at home.

A youth leader from ward 8, Bori, Khana Local Government Area, Mbadiwe Marcus said the election did not hold in his ward

Marcus said the electoral officers failed to bring the result sheets for the poll.

Kenneth Barikpowikpo, Councillorship Candidate of Africa Democratic Congress (ADC) in ward 17, Bori, said he could not vote because there was no election in their area.

He said: “There was no election in ward 17 Khana. We did not see the result sheet for the election. We tried to interrogate the SPO why there are no result sheets. He said the EO should be asked.

“If they announce anybody in our ward it is fake. There was no election in the said ward. I want the ward to hear and know.”

Also, the Councilorship Candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP,) ward 11, Abalama in Asari-Toru LGA, Daerego West, expressed dissatisfaction with the process.

West alleged the PDP hijacked the voting materials and denied him and other parties the right to cast their votes just as he called for the cancellation of the election.

He accused the PDP of snatching the original result sheets for the election and passing a vote of no confidence in RSIEC for collaborating with the PDP to rig the election

But the supporters and candidates of the PDP expressed satisfaction in the process and commended RSIEC for conducting a free and fair election in the state

Incumbent Chairman of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area and candidate for the poll, Rowland Sekibo, described the process as impressive.

Sekibo, who spoke after voting at his polling unit, ward 1 unit 2 said the exercise was peaceful but complained of low turnout.

He said he told RSIEC of the shortage of material and expressed hope that more materials would be brought and distributed across wards.

The Chairmanship candidate of PDP in Ikwerre, Mr Samuel Nwanosike, said the election was transparent and credible.


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