Enugu council poll peaceful, marred by voter apathy

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Gov. Ugwuanyi casts his vote at Amube ward

The local government election held Saturday, February 29, across the 17 local government areas of Enugu state though peaceful, was characterized by late commencement of the exercise, and voter apathy.

The election was scheduled to start by 8 am but in most of the polling booths visited by Summit News, the exercise did not commence until 11 am due to late arrival of voting materials at the polling booths.
The Enugu state Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, voted at his Amube ward in Udenu LGA at about 11.17am with very few voters around the polling booth.


The chairmanship candidate of the PDP for Udenu LGA Mr. Solomon Onah, (Jack Solo) who cast his vote at his Umu Ezejo polling unit said the exercise was peaceful in his area.
According to Onah, the PDP had done a lot for the state and deserved to be compensated for the dividends of democracy delivered to the people, even as he said he was optimistic of victory.


As at 11.30 am, the state electoral officials were still sharing the materials at the Igboeze North Divisional Police Headquarters where they were taken to for onward distribution to the polling centres.


However, the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, for the area, Chief Boniface Odo, alleged that the ballot papers had been thumb- printed in favour of PDP candidates.


Odo said that the electoral officials were busy “marking good” for the votes as a way of accreditation as only few voters came out to vote.
It was a field day for the PDP as several opposition parties in the state did not field candidates over fear that the poll would be manipulated in favour of the ruling PDP in the state.


One PDP stalwart who spoke on condition of anonymity told Summit News that several registered voters were not pleased at the way and manner the candidates were hand-picked by the party’s leadership in the state, hence the low turn-out recorded during the exercise.


The exercise was however, peaceful across the 17 local government areas in the state as there was no report of violence throughout the exercise.


Mr. Onah commended Governor Ugwuanyi for regular conduct of local government polls in the state, pointing out that the governor believed in due process in whatever he did.


At Ajuona Ovoko , Igbo-Eze South Loal Government Area of the state where the member representing Nsukka/Igbo-Eze South in the House of Representatives, Pat Asadu, voted, few voters were seen exercising their franchise.


Asadu also told reporters that Governor Ugwuanyi had “done well by sustaining local government and grassroots democracy in the state.”


Reports from Uzo Uwani, Igbo Etiti, Nsukka and Udi also said that the election went on smoothly even as only very few voters showed up at the polling booths to vote.

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