Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
Low turn out of eligible voters and vote buying have marred the House of Assembly election conducted in Anambra State on Saturday.
Reports from different parts of the state showed that many voters shunned the polls for lack of interest in the exercise and lack of faith in the outcome of the election.
At several places visited by Ikengaonline, only a handful of people were at polling units to elect their lawmakers, unlike the huge crowed that turned up during the presidential election in the state.
At 008 Polling Unit, Arroma Junction, accreditation and voting started around 8:30am but there was very low turnout of voters at the polling centre. Also at the same Arroma, PU002, INEC officials arrived as early as 8:09 am but there was no voter around till 9:00 am when our reporter left the unit.
However in the other locations visited like the Primary school Amawbia, Isiagu Ezinator ward PU and voting points at Eke Nibo, though voters were scanty, but voting was seamless as people were casting their votes.
There are quite a huge turnout at Adebebe Amawbia ward 2, unit 015 and 008. The party agents of All Progressives Grant Alliance (APGA), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Labour Party (LP) expressed their satisfaction on the progress of the election, adding that the exercise has been peaceful and commendable, as no challenge from INEC had been witnessed.
Speaking to the journalists during the election, the PDP party agent, Esther Kamsiyochukwu Onuora, said that regardless the peaceful election, she witnessed canvassers from APGA on ground who are writing names of the electorate.
According to Onuora, “INEC are doing their job and canvassers are doing their job too. Here in Adebebe Amawbia, the ruling party is writing down names of the electorate openly to rig the election and people are seeing them. You know Amawbia and Anambra state at large is more dominated by APGA. It is illegal on election day.”
Corroborating, another voter at Adebebe Amawbia Unit 015 who refused his name to be mentioned said though the area is APGA dominated, the APGA agents were giving out cash gifts to voters who voted for them. “The party agents of APGA are giving money to people who voted for them. They are even doing it without fear,” he said.
At Ezinator ward in Isiagu Awka South LGA, unidentified party agents were seen gifting wrappers to the electorate who were confirmed to have voted for them.
Meanwhile, security agencies were seen on ground to maintain peace and avoid violence.