2019 Gubernatorial Elections: Nigerians Speak on Voter Apathy

Politics
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Sunday, March 10, 2019 5.00PM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for Proshare WebTV

 

Nigerians yesterday participated in the 2019 Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly Elections, which was conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission across the country. 

It was another critical point in Nigeria’s democracy which had a heavy presence of military forces in all the states to ensure a smooth and seamless process. 

Proshare WebTV in its coverage of Eti-Osa Local Government of Lagos State,visited several polling units and engaged voters on their experience. 

A major development was the low voter turnout in the Gubernatorial/State House of Assembly elections. 

One would expect that after a keenly contested Presidential elections on February 23, 2019 Nigerians will be enthusiastic and come out enmasse to vote in the local elections, but that was not the case on Saturday March 09, 2019. 

At the Ipewu/Mekunwen Ireti Primary School, Ikoyi Polling Unit some of the notable Nigerians gave their perspective on the voter apathy recorded across the state. 

For Mr Kunbi Oguneye CEO, Alpha Fortress the initial issues of the malfunctioning of smart card readers not able to serve voters who came early, are part of the factors that discourages them from voting and called for an improved process from the electoral body. 

Mr Tayo Oviosu Founder/CEO of Paga at the same polling unit said it was surprising that voters did not turn up for the elections. 

He described Lagos as the fifth largest economy in Africa and a crucial economic gateway, which is too important to be ignored by citizens in the area of deciding who governs the state. 

At the Parkview Estate Polling Unit 008 Mr Onome Ogagane CEO, OG Streams Limited said the process was peaceful and hitch-free but stressed the apathy which he described as unfortunate. 

Mr Dan Ngerem former President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN  also at the Parkview Estate Polling Unit 008 attributed the low voter turnout to the fallout of the Presidential elections. 

According to Ngerem  the voters felt their votes did not count and therefore did not feel the need to participate in the local polls. 

He called on Nigerians to be steadfast and not give up on the electoral process and made a strong case for technology in the future elections. 

Mr Ngerem said with 5G technology on ground and the remarkable transformation achieved by the bank verification number, Nigeria has a great opportunity to take advantage of digital tech to increase voter participation.

 

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