By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA-Low voter turnout marred the Abuja Municipal Area Council elections on Saturday. Unlike the Presidential and National Assembly elections which held a fortnight ago, voter apathy characterised most of the Polling Units in the Area Council.

A voter uses a smartphone to photograph his details on a voters’ list displayed at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) central office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on March 8, 2019. – Nigerian voters will go to the polls on March 9 to elect governors and lawmakers in 29 of the nation’s 36 states two weeks after presidential and national assembly elections in which Buhari was elected for a second term. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

At the Ward 10, Polling Unit 006, Jikwoyi Primary School Centre, officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and registration materials arrived as early as 8:00 AM.

Simultaneous accreditation and voting began soon afterward as voters conducted themselves orderly, leaving security personnel made up largely of men of the Nigerian Police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, with little to do all day.

Polling Officer at the unit, Falam Simon who decried the low turn out of voters for the exercise however lauded their peaceful conduct.

“We have been here since 7:30 AM but unlike the Presidential election, the number of voters coming to vote is not impressive. We don’t know the cause of this.

“We don’t have have any incidence because the card readers are working very well. The voters have shown maturity and we only pray things end this way,” he said.
The story was the same at 001A Ungwar Pashe/ Kofar Gidan Sarki Polling Unit, Karu with a total number of 1,070 registered voters, where a few voters had turned up for the exercise at the time of filing this report.

This, according to the Polling Officer, Jacob Mbah has left both INEC Officials and members of the National Youth Service Corps working as ad-hoc staff with little to do.

When Vanguard visited the Karu Central Mosque Polling Unit 005, the long queues witnessed a fortnight ago were no where in sight.

In the more than twenty minutes spent by this correspondent at the unit, virtually all the voters who turned up to exercise their civic rights had done so leaving electoral officials to while away their time in personal discussions.


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