Group Cites Distrust, as Low Turnout, Votes Buying Characterize Anambra House of Assembly Elections
Despite the fact that Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC officials arrived polling units across Anambra state on time for the state house of assembly election on Saturday, voting in the state was marred by low turnout of voters.
In most polling units visited in Onitsha South, Onitsha North, and Ogbaru, it was observed that restriction of vehicular movement was not fully enforced by security operatives while very few voters were on the queue to exercise their franchise as at 9:30am.
At PU 020, Ward 04, Ojibah lane, Inland town Onitsha and most polling units at Onitsha North and South, as at 9:40am, a few voters were seen on the queues against what was the case during the presidential and National Assembly elections.
Many youths were also seen playing football at fields and street roads.
The same was the situation at Polling units 001 and 002, Central School, Mgbakwu, Ward 1, where votes were sold and bought at will and party agents campaigned freely for their respective candidates.
There also instances of voter suppression at the polling units where party agents had to whisk away voters who made noise about voting other candidates other than theirs.
Reacting to the development, the Civil Liberties Organization in Anambra described it as very unfortunate and detestable that the high voters turnout during the presidential and National Assembly elections was not recorded during Saturday’s elections.
According to them, the development was because majority of the electorate has lost trust, confidence and faith in the electoral umpire to ensure that their votes count.
At a post-election world press conference on Sunday, the Anambra CLO Chairman, Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme akso condemned in strong terms “the monetization and commercialization of our electoral system in which victory goes to the highest bidder to the detriment of the masses.
“Transactional politics is a great threat to democracy, good governance and socioeconomic development.
“The true heroes of our democracy are the electorate and INEC officials that rejects monetary inducements and stands for what is right, fair, just and laudable.”
The group maintained that the task to transform and rescue the country should be with the collective and collaborative efforts of all stakeholders.
They equally berated politicians that deployed hoodlums to destroy and disrupt elections and snatch ballot boxes in their opponents’ stronghold.
“Such people should be banned 10 years from contesting election or holding public offices.
“We equally appeal to INEC to use the results of the House of Assembly election to restore people’s confidence as well as redeem her image,” the CLO stated.