Niger 2023: Party agents, electorate decry voter apathy

By Obinna Unaeze

Some party agents and voters have decried the low the turnout of voters in Saturday’s governorship and state Assembly elections in parts of Minna metropolis of Niger.

A check by the  News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the Minna Military Cantonment revealed a low turn out of voters in the area, compared to high number recorded during the Feb. 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Mr Ephraim Thomas, an agent of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), at the Army Barack gate “A” polling unit with code 015, told NAN that the voters did not turn out as expected.

He said that the development was a sharp contrast of what was witnessed during the presidential and NASS  polls.

According to him, reasons for the low turn out are  best known to the voters.

Similarly, Ms Ladi Christopher, an agent of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) at the polling station, expressed surprise at the  low turnout of voters.

According to her, she was looking forward to an impressive turnout of voters going by promises made by  the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to strengthen the process more, following lessons learned at the Feb. 25 polls.

Also speaking, Hajiya Rukayat Idris, an agent of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the polling unit, expressed disappointment at the turnout of voters.

Idris noted that the outcome was a direct opposite of what was recorded at the last elections.

Hajiya Hauwa Mohammed, a voter at the polling station, said she also observed that most of the voters at the five polling units in front of the Minna military cantonment were women.

She said that the women who refused to vote were protesting the killing of their husbands in recent attacks by suspected bandits, with others still in the hospital with serious injuries.

Thecreport added that the women were agitating for insurance welfare package for their husbands as provided for the Nigeria Police Force.

Another voter at the polling unit, Mr Iliya Garba, attributed the low turnout of voters to the recent challenges associated with the Presidential and National Assembly elections, forcing the opposition parties to challenge the outcome in court.

“Our people are not happy, they are disenchanted because the politicians refused to allow their votes to count.

“Therefore, how do you expect them to come out again and waste their time,” he said.

Mr Emmanuel Efiong, the Presiding Officer (PO) at polling unit, said that the army barack gate “A” polling unit has 608 registered voters, but not half of them turnout.

NAN also reports that the suspected bandits killed one Major and three soldiers, leaving others with various degrees of injuries. (NAN)