Low turnout characterize Enugu local government polls
The Enugu State Local Government elections have been held on Saturday across the 17 council areas of the state without violence although there was general apathy in the exercise.
The election which started at 10 am in some polling unit witnessed a partial delay in the commencement of the process due to late arrival of materials in some polling units.
Governor of Enugu State, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi cast his vote at his Amube Ohom, Orba Ward II at about 11:15 am.
Speaking to reporters after casting his vote 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.
“Our people came out en mass to vote because Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, 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”.
At Ugwuogo ward, polling units 11, in Enugu East Local Government Area, voters were seen patiently waiting for results to be announced. According to them, the process has been hitch-free.
Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has described the elections as peaceful, adding that electorate turned out en-masse for the election at his Eke ward in Udi Local Government Area of the State.
Okechukwu noted that there were elements of manipulation in some quarters to favour the ruling party in the state, stressing that Enugu State was not alone in the undemocratic tendency which had continued to militate the growth of democracy in the country.
A coalition of accredited independent observers have commended ENSIEC for conducting a peaceful, credible and transparent election local government election in Enugu State.
Samuel Onoja who spoke on behalf of the coalition said that the election was impressive as all observers who were deployed to various polling booths across the 17 local government areas of the state confirmed the election was peaceful.
The group who rated the exercise as the best in the country said it was devoid of irregularities stating that it is one of the most peaceful, credible and transparent electoral exercises in the country.
Onoja disclosed that the turn-out of voters, especially the youth and women, were also impressive, maintaining that “there were no incidents of violence, ballot box snatching, and vote-buying, as the electorate exercised their franchise freely and in a peaceful atmosphere”.
His words: “As we usually say, elections in Enugu State are always more peaceful and transparent than in any other state in this country.
“We commend the State Governor, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for making this possible and creating the enabling environment for peace to thrive in Enugu State.
“We also commend the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC), the security agencies and other relevant stakeholders, for their contributions towards the peaceful conduct of the elections”.
He urged the contestants to accept the results of the elections when released by ENSIEC.