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Opposition parties boycott local govt election in Ebonyi

By The Citizen

Saturday's local government election in Ebonyi suffered a boycott by opposition parties as only the ruling PDP presented candidates for the exercise.

The other political parties declined to field candidates for the elections, saying there was no level playing ground.

The situation left only the PDP to contest for the 13 chairmanship positions and 215 councillorship seats.

The election was the fourth to be conducted since 2001 in the state.

It was observed that materials for the election were distributed as early as 8 a.m. in all the local government headquarters.

Similarly, accreditation of voters in the polling units in Ebonyi North senatorial zone started at 9 a.m. and ended at noon while voting took place shortly after.

At Ohaukwu local government, top government officials conducted the people and helped to supervise the distribution of the materials.

The Commissioner for Education, Mr Chibueze Ndubuisi-Agbo, described the exercise as orderly and calm.

The PDP chairmanship candidate in the local government, Mrs Chinyere Elom, said the distribution of the materials had been peaceful and smooth.

The presiding officer for Effium Ward II, Peter Idika, decried the low-turnout of voters for the election.

'We received the materials for the election on time yet the people are nowhere to be seen. They just trickle in and leisurely. This attitude does not portend enthusiasm on the part of the electorate,'' he said.

At the Abakaliki Local Government Area, the situation was the same as voter apathy characterised the exercise.

Mr James Omeri, the electoral officer for the area, said the distribution of materials started early.

At Alike Square, the presiding officer, Gloria Morgan, said accreditation of voters had not started as at 10 a.m. because they had not started showing up.

At 11 a.m., no single voter had visited the polling units in Izzi Local Government Area just as there was no security presence.

Also at Igbeagu Ward I, the presiding officer, Lawrence Mbeke, said that only one potential voter had been accredited by 11:15 a.m. while there was only a fes voters at  the TTC polling unit.

Mr Andrew Nkwuda, a former vice chairman of the local government, said he appreciated the smooth arrangement of the electoral process.

The situation was different at Ebonyi local government as voters turned out in large numbers to cast their votes.