2023 elections

March 18, 2023

Polls: Voter apathy mars exercise in Ekiti

By Rotimi Ojomoyela

The State House of Assembly poll in Ekiti, in the early hours of Saturday, recorded a very low turnout in most of the 16 Local Governments in the State.

Only House of Assembly election is taking place in Ekiti today, as a result of her staggered gubernatorial arrangements status, occasioned by past tribunal, or court pronouncement.

The current situation, is contrary to the fairly large turn out of voters witnessed during the last Presidential and National Assembly polls

This is just as accreditation of the few voters on queue, began as at 8:00a.m, with presence of security operatives, present in many of the polling units, while in many places, officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) arrived early

It was however observed that security arrangement was a bit relaxed, unlike that of the presidential and National Assembly elections, when each unit had at least, four policemen.

A drive round the voting centres, gave an indication that voters’ turnout came for the exercise, was far below what many an observer had expected.

In the course of the monitoring, the restriction order, earlier placed by the police Command in the State, was not substantially complied with, as a number of residents, including commercial motorcycles, tricycles and traders were seen moving about freely on the streets, while many markets were open to normal activities.

It was also observed that security, which was tight during last election, was relaxed as there were only few armed security agents on the roads, with just few ones, manning the polling venues in some places.

Some towns where voters’ apathy was visibly noticed, in the early hours of the day, include Ado Ekiti, the state capital, and many other major towns.

Commenting on the development, Mr Kolade Olorunleke, a regular voter in Ado-Ekiti, suggested that However, it is not clear if the trend will change as the exercise progresses.

Also in most of the town Vanguard visited the same Voters apathy was witnessed as INEC staff were left fallow, awaiting their arrival endlessly.

At polling unit 17, ward two and unit,2 ward 1, in Ado-Ekiti, the INEC staff had already set up the cubicle with the electoral materials in the polling units ealyy enough, but had to wait for long for voters.

The residents were busy with their house cleaning and other private activities, while security agencies such as Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were moving about the polling units to maintain orderliness.

The party agents of various political parties with their tags, also were also seen waiting for voters at the polling units waiting for the voters.