Geoffrey Anyanwu and Jude Chinedu, Enugu
The Enugu State Local Government election which held today though peaceful was marred by voter apathy, Daily Sun finds.
Conducted by the State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIC), the election also witnessed the late arrival of materials and election officials at many polling units across the state.
The restriction of movement order placed by the police was not obeyed as commercial vehicle operators carried on with their businesses, just as some markets, especially outside Enugu metropolis, were open for business.
At press time, there were no skirmishes reported in any of the polling centres and communities monitored across the state as everywhere was calm.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi cast his vote at his Amube Ohom, Orba Ward II, in Udenu local government at about 11:15 am.
The Governor, who declined comment notwithstanding the crowd of journalists at the scene, raced back to the state capital immediately after casting his votes.
Most people in local communities were observed to be continuing with their normal business with little concern about the council election because, to them, there was no room for competition.
At the Community Primary School, Ajuona Polling Unit 11 in Igbo Eze South Local Government Area, where the House of Representatives member representing Nsukka/Igboeze South Federal Constituency, Hon Patrick Asadu, voted, the traditional ruler of Ajuona community, Igwe Joe Aroh, voted and described the exercise as peaceful.
Hon Asadu told reporters that the general peaceful environment of the state had a positive impact on the election, adding that Governor Ugwuanyi believes in the development at the grassroots level and had made adequate arrangements to ensure that the process was hitch-free just like the national and state elections in the state.
“Local government elections are very important just like the national and state elections because governance begins at the grassroots level. If we don’t get it right here, it will be difficult for us,” the lawmaker said.
Noting that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had campaigned in all the communities in the state, the federal lawmaker said, “the Governor has made the state a one-party state because of how he has succeeded in bringing people together in peace.”
At Umuezejor polling unit 15, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Udenu Local Government Area, Chief Solomon Onah, described the election as peaceful saying, “our people came out en mass to vote because the People’s Democratic Party has done enough for the state. We really campaigned very well to get a massive vote. Our campaign was awesome, we reached to all the grassroots we are supposed to reach. Our material came at the right time.”
There were, however, allegations of ballot stuffing in most polling units in Enugu South Local Government.
At Cheshire Home Polling Unit and Robinson Primary School, policemen and electoral officials were accused of thumb printing and stuffing of ballot boxes.