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Election: Low voters turn out in Abuja

Voter apathy has been witnessed in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as only very few people were seen at polling units for the area council chairmanship and councillorship polls.

Voters voting at the Governorship and State Assembly Elections at Kofar Baru Polling Unit 003 in Daura Katsina State on 9th Mar 2019

Our correspondent who visited some of the polling units in Garki – area 2, area 1, area 10, area 3, area 7 and area 8, reported that the voter turnout was abysmally low.

At a polling unit in area 7, as at 8:00 a.m. when our correspondent visited, only three voters were sighted on ground and ready to vote.

NAN reports that in all the polling units visited, the ad-hoc staff were on ground and some of them were already set to begin accreditation.

At the area 1 primary school which has the highest number of voters, fewer than 50 voters were on 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 our correspondent said that the voter apathy was not unconnected with the February 23 elections.

Some of them said they were disappointed their preferred candidate failed to win the presidential election.

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At the 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.

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At area 2 National Library polling Unit 006, (National Library), an Engineer Mr Uche Alex also said that some people were unhappy with the presidential election results, won by President Muhammadu Buhari, by close to four million plural votes.

Atiku Abubakar, the preferred choice of Abuja residents lost the 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 councillors 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

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