• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Supplementary elections: Voter apathy in parts of Port Harcourt

Saturday’s House of Representatives supplementary election in Port Harcourt Federal Constituency in Rivers has been characterised by low turnout of voters, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

In Units 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of Ward 5 (Port Harcourt Township, election commenced at 8:30 a.m. but as at 11:26 a.m. only few voters had come out to cast their votes.

Polling Units 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 and 88 of the same ward also experienced a similar situation as voters came out in trickles to vote.

Read also: Supplementary polls: Large voter turnout in Sokoto

However, the election environment was peaceful and orderly with the presence of the Police and personnel of the Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) at the polling stations.

In Unit 44 Ward 5 opposite the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) office complex, the Presiding Officer, James Ar-Ibibbia, said that no person had voted in the unit as at 10:40 a.m.

The Presiding Officer of Unit 1, Jesse Kio, said voting commenced in the unit by 8:30 a.m. but only few persons had voted.

Some of the voters, who spoke with NAN attributed the voter apathy to doubts over the transparent conduct of the elections.

The PDP agent in Unit 3 Ward 5, Micha Kalio, blamed the low turnout on partly the outcome of the February 25 and March 18 elections.

“Most people in the state are not even aware that the election is being held today,” he added.

NAN reports that some opposition parties in the state, including the All Progressives Party (APC) boycotted the supplementary elections over alleged lack of transparency by INEC at the gubernatorial elections.

Past elections in Rivers were marred by electoral violence, including snatching of ballot boxes.