TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center

Chime attributes voters apathy witnessed in Enugu council polls to unoposed candidates

By The Citizen
Listen to article


The local government elections held in Enugu State on Saturday was peaceful and orderly but witnessed low turnout of voters in many polling stations.

A correspondents who monitored the elections across the state report that few voters came out to cast their votes in some areas while others witnessed large turnout of voters.

At Amechi ward in Enugu South Local Government Area, Abakpa Nike in Enugu East and Agbani in Nkanu West, many voters, particularly women, cast their votes in an orderly manner.

It was, however, a different situation in Awgu, Enugu North, Udi, Oji River and Nsukka local government areas which witnessed very few voters while many people went about their normal businesses.

NAN also reports that security agents, including the police and civil defence, were at the polling booths to ensure orderliness.

Speaking with journalists after casting his vote at Udi, Gov. Sullivan Chime attributed the seeming apathy to the fact that most candidates were unopposed.

According to Chime, all the 17 chairmanship candidates were unopposed while very few wards like Eke in Udi have candidates contesting for the councillorship positions.

Chime explained that those who cast their votes did so to confirm the acceptability of the unopposed candidates.

“What we have here is a `Yes or No' voting to show that the people accepted or rejected the unopposed candidate. This is in accordance with the law establishing the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission,'' he said.

An electoral officer in Udi/Agbudu ward, Mr Ernest Chime, said there was no election for unopposed councillorship candidates because they were automatically elected in line with theENSIEC law.

Some of the voters and election observers in separate interviews expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the elections but regretted the low turnout of the electorate.

Mr Emmanuel Nnaji, a voter, said  that sensitive materials for the election arrived late but commended its peaceful conduct.

The Secretary of the Youth and Media Network, an Enugu-based NGO, Mr Chuks Udeh, also regretted the non participation of the opposition parties in the elections.

A woman leader, Dr Ngozi Agu, who also expressed dissatisfaction with the low turnout of voters, commended the women for their participation.