Low turnout of voters mars Imo state rerun, supplementary polls

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INEC adhoc workers count ballot papers during sorting at a polling station in Kano State, Nigeria February 23, 2019.REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Low turnout of voters characterised the Court -ordered rerun and supplementary elections in some parts of Imo State on Saturday.

This followed the removal of Emeka Ihedioha as Governor by the Supreme Court on January 14, 2020.

However, the exercise was generally peaceful in most of the polling units with heavy security presence.

The Appeal Court had ordered a rerun for the Okigwe/Onuimo/Isiala Mbano federal constituency as well as supplementary elections in 18 polling units of Orlu/Orsu/ Oru East federal and 12 polling units in Njaba state constituencies.

The court had nullified the election of Obinna Onwubariri representing Okigwe/Onuimo/Isiala Mbano Federal Constituency and ordered a rerun, while Hon. Jerry Alagboso, representing Orlu/Orsu/Oru East Federal Constituency and Uju Onwudiwe representing Njaba State constituency had some units cancelled in their constituencies.

Our correspondent, who went round the affected constituencies, observed that INEC officials arrived early and voting commenced on time too.

It was gathered also that most of the electorate stayed away from the voting centers and most of the polling centres were empty.

At Umuneke Anara polling unit in Isiala Mbano, with a voters register of about 1300, only 30 had voted as at 2 pm.

The people defied the stay-at-home order by the INEC and moved about their businesses freely.

At Central School Umunachi, ward 003, Central School Isiau Ozuama, Isiebu ward 002 and Umuneke/Anara polling unit 013 all witnessed voter apathy. At polling centre 014 at Anara in the Isiala Mbano LGA , Social Democratic Party scored 14 votes , APC got 106 votes, PDP 9 while All Progressives Grand Alliance got 10 votes.

At booth 008 at Anara in the Isiala Mbano Local government Area , APC scored 78 votes while PDP scored 8 votes.

The same voter apathy was recorded in Duruaku village square 007, Eziere village hall 002, Eziere , Ndioha Owerre village hall 004 and Ndiuhu village hall 006 all in Njaba LG.

Most of the people who spoke to our correspondent on the streets said that their votes would not count, as according to them, the recent Supreme Court judgement about governorship election.

However, a former member representing Imo North, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, who spoke to journalists after casting his vote at his Osu Achara ward, said that he was satisfied with way the exercise went.

The politician said that there was an alliance to deliver the All Progressives Congress candidate, Mirriam Onuoha.

The Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Obinna Onwubuariri, expressed optimism that he would be re-elected.

He said: “I was elected into the house of representatives in 2015 and was re-elected in 2019 but the court annulled my re-election owing to forces fighting against me. But I will win this election because we have the grassroots”

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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