Voters Apathy, vote buying mar election in Calabar

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Wevole Ezin

Most polling units in Calabar, Cross River State have experienced low turnout of voters, and vote buying in the ongoing Governor and State Assembly elections in Cross River State.

At ward one, units 001-005 in Akim town, Calabar Municipality, the INEC members of staff and the security personnel were sighted at the various polling units at 7:50am, despite the near absence of prospective voters.

However, a few minutes after casting his vote at the same unit at 9am, the polling unit and other adjoining units, according to our correspondent, started recording a slight increase in the number of potential voters.

It was also observed that some party agents in other areas including Ward 7, unit 5, Ikot Ishie, also in Calabar Municipality, were tactically engaging most voters, promising to reward them for casting their votes for the respective parties.

The situation was not different in Ward 4, unit 15, State Housing Estate in Calabar Municipality.

The INEC workers, who came out early for the exercise, were greeted with low turnout of voters.

One of the electorates, a 26-year-old Patricia Ekpo said the general voters’ apparition could be related to the outcome of the presidential election which she said was a stolen mandate of the people.

She added, “Today’s exercise is orderly and peaceful no doubt, but the whole essence is about the trust in the system that matters most.”

At ward 7, unit 5, the level of voter apartheid was quite high compared to the last general elections held in the same area.

An observer in the unit, Mr. Okon Ete, attributed the situation to the outcome of the last elections.

“We are not surprised to see the turn out of voters in today’s election, but we have hope that our party will win. Most of our supporters are not happy with the results of the last elections, and so they refused to come out”, he said.

Also speaking, the PDP agent in Polling unit 012, ward 6, Pst. Dominic Etim, said “today’s turnout is not really encouraging compared to the Presidential election. People are aggrieved, they feel their votes were not counted in the previous exercise and still believe their vote will not be counted this time around.”



Voters Apathy, vote buying mar election in Calabar

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