Low voter turnout characterised the gubernatorial and state House of Assembly elections in many parts of Nigeria on Saturday.
Voters who commented on the issue included the Nasarawa State Deputy Governor , Damishi Luka, and a former Ekiti State Governor, Niyi Adebayo.
Speaking shortly after casting his vote at polling unit 003 in Ningo, Akwanga Local Government Area of the state on Saturday, Mr. Luka expressed disappointment over the low turnout of eligible voters for the governorship and State House of Assembly elections.
Mr. Luka, who was the state coordinator of Goodluck/Sambo Campaign Organisation, attributed the apathy to the result of the presidential election which did not favour his party, the PDP.
“The people are disappointed at the outcome of the presidential election and that was why they were discouraged to come out to vote as they did during the March 28, presidential and National Assembly elections,” Mr. Luka said.
He, however, said that the PDP would emerge victorious in the election and urged voters to maintain peace before and after the polls.
He noted that the problem experienced with the card readers during the presidential and National Assembly elections also occurred, but added that the process was better compared to the previous election.
Mr. Luka urged those vying for elective positions to accept defeat and exercise the spirit of sportsmanship by congratulating those who won as President Goodluck Jonathan had done.
Similarly in Keffi, Nasarawa State, low turnout of registered voters for accreditation was observed in most of the polling units visited in the area.
Some voters in the area said in separate interviews that the poor turnout was a function of the result of the Presidential and National Assembly elections held on March 28.
In Ekiti, former Gov. Niyi Adebayo also expressed concern over the poor turnout of voters in the state assembly election in the state.
Mr. Adebayo, who spoke at his Iyin Ekiti country home, blamed politicians and parties for not doing enough sensitisation and mobilisation of their supporters.
Victor Umeh, the National Chairman, All Progressives Grand Alliance, also commented on the voter apathy observed in parts of Anambra State.
Speaking with journalists at Aguluzigbo in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra after casting his vote on Saturday, Mr. Umeh attributed the poor turnout to voters’ discontent with the outcome of March 28 presidential national assembly elections.
“The fraudulent result announced on March 28 elections affected the morale of the people and resulted to voter apathy in today’s election,” Mr. Umeh said.
Opeyemi Bamidele, who was the Labour Party candidate in the June 21, 2014, gubernatorial poll in
Ekiti state, blamed the development on INEC.
Mr. Bamidele said the conduct of the presidential election before the others was the cause of the apathy.
Alex Adeojo, a candidate of the PDP at Oshodi unit 2, Igbara Odo-Ekiti, also decried the low turnout of the electorate. He noted that people were not motivated to come out to perform their civic right as expected.
The candidate said he would accept the result in good fate as demonstrated by the Mr. Jonathan in the last presidential elections.
A Presiding Officer at the unit, Rita John, confirmed that the electorate didn’t turn out for accreditation as was the case two weeks ago.
At the Alagotan Area of Alimosho Local Government Area in Lagos, Lukmon Olawale, a voter at Iyana-Ipaja ward 066 attributed the low turnout to the loss of President Goodluck Jonathan in the electoral contest.
“A lot of people in this area wanted President Goodluck Jonathan to win; so when he lost, they lost their confidence,” he said. “Those that came out are here because they believe in their candidates to win the elections.”
Another respondent, Dele Obafemi, however, expressed confidence that his vote would count in spite of the defeat his candidate in the Presidential elections.
“I am here because I believe my vote will count; the process has been peaceful and everything is going accordingly,” he said. “People should not just lose faith because their candidate did not win the initial elections conducted on March 28.”
Similarly, Nduka Mbanefo said that the low voter turnout was an expression of the lack of confidence in the outcome of the voting.