Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
Poor turnout of voters marred the Ebonyi State Local Government Election conducted in the 13 Local Government Areas of the state on Saturday.
At some of the polling units visited by our Reporter in the three senatorial zones of the State, it was observed that voters did not come out to participate in the exercise.
At the Unit 003 Pa Ngele Oruta Township Stadium in Ebonyi North zone, that of Onueke in Ezza South in Ebonyi Central zone, and Obiozara in Ohaozara LGA of Ebonyi South zone, the story was the same.
At 2:11pm when our Correspondent visited one of the polling units in Obiozara, Ohaozara LGA, it was observed that not more than five persons came out to cast their votes.
The story was, however, different at Umunaga polling booth in Ohaozara LGA as appreciable number of voters were seen participating in the process.
Some of the voters described the exercise as selection instead of election adding that the ruling party in the state has always been declared winner of the elections.
Mr. Ifeanyi Nworie said, “local government election in Nigeria has always been a one party affair, so, there is no need coming out to participate.”
“Even if you vote, APC candidates will be declared winner so what’s the need. Let them have their way.”
Others who also spoke attributed the low turnout to imposition of candidates and poor publicity on the election.
Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, described the State Local Government election as peaceful and expressed optimism that the ruling All Progressives Congress would emerge victorious.
Speaking shortly after casting his vote at Umunaga Ward 4, Ohaozara LGA, Governor Umahi said that his performance as Governor would always give APC victory in elections in the state.
“I can say that I am quite satisfied with the report I am getting from the polling units.
“It is very peaceful, the turnout is quite impressive and the people are voting very freely for candidates of their preferences.
“There is no other political party in Ebonyi State, we have done quite well and no other political party in Ebonyi can boast of any reason why anybody in Ebonyi should vote for such party other than APC.
“We have performed, we have transformed the State, so Ebonyi people will not listen to promises, they are going to be listening to promises fulfilled under my administration and as the party of APC”
“I worked hard for it. Apostle Paul said: I have run the race, I have kept the faith, left unto me is the crown of righteousness, that crown of righteousness is a comprehensive victory today.”
Governor Umahi denied the insinuation that there was imposition of candidate adding that the people were given the opportunity to elect candidates of their choice.
“Every election is selection; an opportunity for the people to select whoever they like and that is the definition of election.”