AKWA IBOM, Nigeria – There is low turnout of voters across the polling units in Akwa Ibom State during the 2020 local government elections held today, Saturday, 31st October.
The main opposition party in the State, the All Progressives Congress, APC did not participate in the election as it claimed it had lost confidence in the electoral umpire in the State.
But the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, including eight other political parties fielded candidates for the elections.
In Awa ward 1, Onna local government area of the State where the governor, Udom Emmanuel comes from, accreditation and voting which were done simultaneously started around 10 am when a few voters began to come.
After casting his vote, the governor commended the peaceful nature of the local government elections despite purported voters’ apathy.
The Governor who applauded the orderliness and preparedness of the Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC), said the processes leading up to the elections were transparent.
His words, “I think this is one of the peaceful elections we have ever had. I drove from Uyo down here trying to monitor the elections. I like the quietness and orderliness of the elections and I am also surprised at the preparedness of AKISIEC, the quality of materials; it is of a very high standard.
“They can keep it up, and even the transparency of the processes is commendable. They have done a good work but it is unfortunate that people will still be complaining even when we score the process 99 percent. I would only encourage them to do more.
“I have confidence in the elections. If I didn’t have confidence, why should I waste my time coming here? I have confidence much more than ever before. This is the most peaceful elected to elected elections, grace pass grace”.
However, the presiding Officer of the ward, Destiny Bob said despite the poor turnout of voters, the elections would end by 2pm.
He said, “elections started by 8am but it’s now 10am, we are still waiting for voters. No party agents are here but I believe they will come.
Observations in wards and polling units in some parts of the state showed poor turnout of voters. In some polling units, only the electoral officers and security agents were available.
In Eket, some units were yet to receive voting materials as distribution of materials were very slow. Materials arrived Eket central 3, Afia Nist at about 10.42 am.
In Uyo urban ward 1, 2, 3 and 4, no voter was seen around the polling units, even though electoral officers were on ground and ready for the elections by 9am.