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Date: March 22, 2019, 01:45:15 AM

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Low turnout of voters in Calabar as Duke decries militarisation of election: Politics : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

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Low turnout of voters in Calabar as Duke decries militarisation of election

By: dayan (M) |Time : March 09, 2019, 08:50:30 PM
Ayade votes.jpg

udex Okoro, Calabar

Low turnout of voters has characterised the governorship and House of Assembly elections in Calabar, Cross River State.

Our Correspondent who monitored election at Ekpo Abasi, Mayne Avenue, Ette Agbor, University of Calabar, Marian and Diamond Hill axis of the metropolis, observed that INEC officials arrived  most polling units as early as 8:00am with all electoral materials while the voters were not yet around.

It was also observed that the card readers were functioning at the units unlike what happened during the presidential election when most of them malfunctioned.

At some units at Ekpo Abasi, Mayne Avenue and Okon Inok, accreditation started about 8:00am with card readers.

But some of the electoral officers, who didn’t want their names in print, lamented that voters were trickling in; they expressed worry that they might not record reasonable turn out of voters.

The officers pointed out the heavy deployment of security personnel almost on all major streets of Calabar might have contributed to the poor turn out as voters found it difficult to trek to their polling units to cast their votes

Decrying the militarisation of the election, the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Mr Donald Duke, said the development had led to voter apathy in Calabar metropolis.

Speaking shortly after casting his vote at his Ward 5, Unit 5, AME Zion at Diamond Hill, Calabar Municipality LGA , the former governor of Cross River said the heavy military presence had cause palpable fears among voters as well as prevented people from moving from one point to the other to cast their votes.

He said: “If you are living in one part of town you cannot move to where your polling unit is because you will be arrested. This has made it very difficult for many people to come out and this has led to disenfranchisement of a lot of people.

“Someone called me few minutes ago saying that he had been arrested because he moved from where he registered near University of Calabar to Zone 6,and he was arrested and asked to trek; but there is no way he can walk that distance so the best thing for him is to go back home.

“You cannot shut down the whole city, town or country just because people are going to exercise their rights. It is very frustrating and there is high level of highhandedness by security personnel. We ought to do better than this. Shutting down the whole city doesn’t really make any sense,” he stated.

However, the Governor of Cross River, Prof Ben Ayade, said despite the initial hiccups in the build up to the election, he was confident of victory in March 9, contest.

Ayade who arrived the Kakum Town hall polling unit 004 in company with his wife, Lynda, at exactly 10:55am to cast his vote, said: “I am very optimistic, let my three years plus in office be a validation of this election and my victory today.

“The attendance is much more today, very massive; I’m in high spirits and full of enthusiasm. This is my primary place of birth and apparently, every son and daughter are here like wise other people in their large numbers.

“Some have come from Lagos and Abuja to cast their votes and I am very happy to see this massive turnout.

“I am perfectly happy with the arrangement on ground – well organised and voting is going on peacefully,” he stated.

Giving thumbs down on the election after  casting his votes at Ward 5, Unit 5, AME Primary School, Diamond Hill, Calabar, the SDP governorship candidate, Eyo Ekpo, said 2015 elections seemed far better than that of this year.

“What we are contending with here is the fact that 2015 seems to have gone a bit better than 2019 and I can only call on INEC to improve on the processes.

“There has been too many stories around thumb printing going on before the elections, but like I said, these are stories but the fact that there have been these stories and in some cases people have actually provided evidence is not a good thing,” he said.


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Re: Low turnout of voters in Calabar as Duke decries militarisation of election

By: dayan (M) |Time : March 09, 2019, 08:54:57 PM
Quote
It was also observed that the card readers were functioning at the units unlike what happened during the presidential election when most of them malfunctioned.

Just before the elections, PDP alleged that the APC government had imported some fake card readers from China for the purpose of rigging the elections.
Most people dismissed such information outright, but apparently it was true after-all. Or how else can anyone explain their massive failures then?

Before now, Nigeria had many problems, but voter apathy was not one of them.
We just "upgraded" by adding that.

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