Joe Effiong, Uyo
The recent mayhem following #EndSARS bloody protest in Akwa Ibom State has adversely affected voters turnout in the state’s local government election which the state electoral umpire, AKISIEC insisted on conducting on Saturday, October 31, 2021.
But despite the obvious voters’ apathy, the state governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel has commended the peaceful nature of the local government election even he made allusion to the low turnout.
As at about 10am when Gov Emmanuel arrived his polling unit for accreditation and voting simultaneously at Awa ward 1, Onna local government area on Saturday, the turn out of voters was very poor.
The governor who applauded the orderliness and preparedness of the Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC), said the processes leading up to the elections were transparent.
He said, “I think this is one of the peaceful elections we have ever had. I drove from Uyo down here trying to monitor the elections. I like the quietness and orderliness of the elections and I am also surprised at the preparedness of AKISIEC, the quality of materials; it is of a very high standard.
“They can keep it up, and even the transparency of the processes is commendable. They have done a good work but it is unfortunate that people will still be complaining even when we score the process 99 percent. I would only encourage them to do more.
“I have confidence in the elections. If I didn’t have confidence, why should I waste my time coming here? I have confidence much more than ever before. This is the most peaceful elected to elected elections, grace pass grace”.
The Presiding Officer of the ward, Destiny Bob told newsmen that accreditation and elections were done simultaneously, adding that despite the poor turn out of voters, the elections would end by 2pm.
He said, “elections started by 8am but it’s now 10am, we are still waiting for voters. No party agents are here but I believe they will come.
Observations in wards and polling units in some parts of the state showed poor turn out of voters. In some polling units, only the electoral officers and security agents were available.
In Eket, some units were yet to receive voting materials as distribution of materials were very slow. Materials arrived Eket central 3, Afia Nist at about 10.42am.
In Uyo urban ward 1, 2, 3 and 4, no voter was seen around the polling units even though electoral officers were on ground and ready for the elections by 9am.