- There are fears in some quarters that the Anambra state governorship election might record a low turn-out
- This is the view of a civil rights organisation, Transition Monitoring Group (TMG)
- They blamed the trend on inadequate voters education
A civil rights organisation, Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) on Friday, November 17, expressed concerns over voters apathy towards the Anambra state governorship election, saying there may be a reduction in the number of voters.
TMG's concern is coming less than 24 hours to the election which, observers believe, will be determined by demography lines including zoning, religious denomination, pro-Biafra groups, among many others.
The group which blamed the trend on inadequate voters education, also said it had deployed about 150 observers for the exercise.
The chairperson of TMG, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi said: “TMG is deploying about 150 observers for the Anambra state governorship election. Our only concern is that there is a serious voters apathy and from what we are seeing, the last election would be better. If there is apathy, one is afraid if there is going to be a reduction in the number of voters.
“We discovered that not much voter education has been done and not much reassurance has been done to the psyche of the people. To the majority of Nigerians, nothing much has changed and with voters apathy, we don't think the Anambra state governorship election would attract a huge number of voters.”
According to her, the result of the last governorship election conducted in Anambra state shows that only about 10 per cent of the registered voters voted in the election.
She noted that as at then, the situation was blamed partly on voter apathy and partly on the inability of the Independent National Electoral Election to produce a reliable and credible voters’ register for the election.
“The result was that a good number of voters were unable to locate the appropriate polling units where their names appeared in the voters’ register.
“Though the courts upheld the election as conducted in substantial compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, such election cannot be a model of democratic elections.
“There cannot be participatory democracy in a situation where only a small percentage of the registered voters determine the outcome of an election,” she said.
TMG also observed that while the major political parties were vigorously campaigning for votes, while out of the 23 candidates registered to contest the election, the majority of them appear not to be engaged in serious campaigning.
“Whether such candidates are in the race to win the election or for some other reasons is a matter of conjecture. Multiplicity of candidates give rise to logistic challenges during elections.
“TMG advises Nigerians not to put up their names as candidates for election for the sake of it. While all eligible Nigerians have the right to contest elections, the process should not be trivialized or used for improper purposes,” she concluded.
Meanwhile, a group of Anambra state elders under the aegis of 'Concerned Anambra State Leaders' have written an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari alleging plans by his party - the All Progressives Congress (APC) to compromise the outcome of the state's election.
The letter seen by NAIJ.com, alleged that there are plans by some APC stalwarts both at the state, zonal and federal levels to rig the forthcoming election in favour of the party.
The group also indicted several security agencies, accusing them of working with the APC to rig the elections.
Anambra election: Awka residents speak on who they will vote for and why on NAIJ.com TV