Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
There appears to be widespread voter apathy in the ongoing senatorial rerun election in the 53 polling units of Kogi West senatorial district on Saturday, November 30.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) could not annonuce a winner in the original November 16 poll, as the margin of lead between All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Smart Adeyemi, who was leading his closest rival, Senator Dino Melaye of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), with over 20,000 votes, was smaller than the number of votes cancelled.
Adeyemi is said to be extending his lead over Melaye in the meantime, with collation of results at polling units underway.
Meanwhile, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Professor James Apam, has blamed the low turnout of voters on poor voter drive by political parties.
He was speaking against the backdrop of voter apathy in most polling units visited by Daily Sun in Lokoja wards.
Speaking with reporters shortly before setting out to monitor the election, the REC said the parties should be blamed for the low turnou.
Apam said that instead of the political parties leading voter drives to convince their supporters to turn out and vote, they are now blaming the Commission for the low participation at the rerun.
Daily Sun gathered that the lowturn was mostly due to the fear of a repeat of the violence that greeted the November 16 election.
Bala Bariga, a PDP leader who spoke with Daily Sun at Ward C, Unit 001, attributted the low voter turnout to the fear of their votes not counting as was the case during the last election.
He said most voters stayed away for fear of being caught in any cross fire.
However, as at time of filling this report, there has not been any reported case of violence as the few voters who showed up were seen casting their votes without incident.
Daily Sun also visited Ward D, Yaragi polling unit 002 in Lokoja, where voters were seen casting their votes peacefully.
Our correspondent observed that voting held peacefully in Lokoja and other areas of Kogi West, including Odolu in Kabba, Aiyetoro-Gbedde and Demonstration Primary School, Asuta Ward, voting unit of PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan.
At the Ward B, Unit 001, Karaworo, near Pararanda, in Lokoja, accreditation began as early as 8 am, after which voting commenced.