MARCH 18: Low Turnout In Abia Over Alleged Irregularities In February 25 Election Results
By Charity Uwakwe
The March 18, 2023 Governorship and House of Assembly elections turned out to be a huge success in some parts of the municipality of Umuahia.
Although there were hitches recorded at some polling units, Famousreporters.com who visited some polling units gathered that the exercise was held in a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere.
At Post Office, Aba road, Unit:033 materials had arrived at 9:20AM as the BIVAS was still processing.
In Unit 095, the electoral officers informed Famous Reporters that materials had arrived at about 8:45am.
Speaking, she said: “This is a new polling unit and we are still trying to login”, she added, but, however, admitted that the ballot papers were not complete, as both Governorship and HoA papers were reduced by 7, as against the usual 30 ballot papers, they were given during the Presidential election.
“We have only 23 each for post contestable positions”, she lamented.
According to an Agent for Accord party who suspected a fowl play, they were informed by the election Umpire at the unit, that they were supposed to have 30 papers for each of the offices being contested for.
Similarly, the Agent for APGA, “they have assured us that there will be more sheets if we exhaust the available ones.”
When contacted by the INEC officials, the SPO in charge of the unit, advised that they make do with the available materials, while assuring that more materials would be made available if need be.
Speaking to Eye Witness, the officials who complained that a lot of people who had come out to vote during the February election at some other units could no longer cast their votes” because the BIVAS could not recognise them.”
At Unit- 010, FMC, comprising 1571 registered voters, materials arrived at 9:am. The BIVAS were functioning effectively.
According to the PO, accreditation and voting would start simultaneously. As at 10:am, over 70 eligible voters were already at the unit waiting for accreditation and voting.
When asked, the PO affirmed that “there’s no challenge yet”, unlike the report at the oth
At Unit 009, Amawom Central Community School 3, Oboro ward 1, in Amawom Oboro, in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State, Ikechi Ijoma, the Electoral Assistant Presiding Officer 2, (APO-2), lamented that there’s no proper mobilisation, and no logistics at all.
“We’re made to sit in the sun, no water, not even an ordinary canopy over our heads.
Ofomata Sophia has this to say:
“Materials arrived at the polling unit at about 8:30am; the BIVAS are working efficiently. We’re still accrediting and already have accredited 76 legible voters of 750, as at the time of filing this report.
Pastor Peter Onyekwere who spoke to Journalists, explained that
“Today’s election is progressive. INEC officials arrived early but the turn up of people today is very low. There reason for the low turn out is because people are disheartened by the way the previous election was manipulated by INEC.
Also, at Unit 001, Ward 5, Amawom Central school consisting of 966 accredited voters, 124 had voted at the time of filing this report.
According to the presiding officer, there’s no hitch so far.
Prince Louis Enyimba, a Labour Party Agent disclosed that electoral arrived at some minutes past 9:am. The BIVAS are working effectively, he added.
Similarly, at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Unit 016, Oboro Ward 11, Registration Code: 06,
Eyewitness.com.ng gathered that 58 voters of 750 Accredited Voters already had voted as at 12:05PM.
However, some of the eligible voters complained that they were being transferred to some places without prior notice and consequently, they angrily left for their destinations.
According to the Presiding officer, the unit also witnessed a poor turn out of voters, “one of the reason is that there’s no aggressive sensitisation unlike what was witnessed during the former election. People were discouraged by the last election and considered it irrelevant voting again.
Ukwuta Central School, Unit 004, Ibeku East 1, 1,392 registered voters, “we are using two BIVAS and can’t possibly ascertain how many accredited voters as at now unless when we’re done. BIVAS are working efficiently, the turn out of voters is okay, everything is in order. We’re going to be here up until 2pm and the BIVAS have been programmed already to stop at 2PM.
Amaokwe-elu Central School, Alayi, Unit 009, 79 of 528 registered voters have been accredited. The presiding Officer, Comrd. Uduma Kelechi. Blamed the low turn out on the irregularities by the election umpire as witnessed during the Presidential election.
Meanwhile, as at 2:PM when our Correspondent visited the scene, voting had ended, as both INEC officials and voters were patiently waiting for the stroke of 2:30PM during which counting of votes would start.
At Amaokwe-Akalufu Amnkalu, in Alayi, Bende LGA, Unit
015, the President-General, Akalufu Alayi Development Union, Home and abroad, Chief Comrd. Uchechukwu Kalu, disclosed that the turn out of the election is better than that of the previous election.
- “We had just about 70 voters and today we are having over 100 voters because we were able to sensitise our people on the importance of the the election. So, that was why they came out en mass. There’s no any form of problem with the BIVAS at all.”