By Wole Adedeji, Ilorin

There was general voters’ apathy towards the governorship and House of Assembly elections in Kwara State on Saturday, except at the polling units of Governor AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman and his deputy, Kayode Alabi.

Kwara State Governor AbdulRazaq cast his ballot at the Idigba Polling Unit 004 of Adewole Ward in Ilorin West, while his deputy cast his at ECWA Primary School 001 in his country home, Oro Ago.

Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, casting his vote in Oro, Kwara State.

However, former President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate, Alhaji Shuaib Yamah, also recorded reasonable turn out of voters at their respective voting centres.

In Ilorin, the state capital, the Independent Natıonal Electoral Commission, INEC, ad-hoc staff arrived their duty posts as early as 7 o’clock in the morning and the electoral process commenced between 8 and 8:30 in some polling units.

Governor AbdulRazaq, flanked by his wife, Olufolake, fielding questions from newsmen.

The same was the story at polling units like 014, Isale Maliki, Ita Kolo, Ilorin South, where INEC officials were seen displaying BVAs machines to screen party agents.

At Idi-Ape, Magaji Aare Ward 1, Ilorin East, where the governorship candidate of Social Democratic Party, SDP, Hakeem Lawal, cast his vote, the story was the same as few people turned out.

Former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, addressing journalist after casting his vote.

Speaking with journalists, after casting his vote at exactly 9:50 am at polling unit 003, Lawal said, “As you can see, there was voter apathy, people have not come out enough, I don’t know why, possibly transport issues, may be, delay in the process. The only thing I observed while coming is that security outfits blocked a lot of routes, this affects people’s movement too.

“This is indirectly disenfranchising them, people should be able to move, to go and vote. We all have our voter cards, so you can tell from my card where I’m going to vote, so you should be able to allow me to move.

“The BVAS is another issue, we may not be able to tell if it worked effectively or not until we see how it goes today.”

Lawal said that it was too early to determine the conduct of the governorship elections as voting was still ongoing.

Also, former Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Professor who is the Director General, DG, of the PDP, governorship candidate, said,
“The atmosphere was peaceful, but the turnout was not impressive; some of us have predicted it, due to what happened last time, the expectation of the people apparently was different from the declared result, because of so many factors, so you could expect that people would lose interest.”

The situation was worse at Polling Unit 010, Badi in Agbeyangi ward of Ilorin East Local Local Government Area, where only two voters had voted out of the 395 registered voters for the exercise when this reporter got there.

Also at Polling Unit 004, Oke-Ose of the same local government, out of 911 registered voters, only 56 had voted as at about 10 am on Saturday.

The Presiding Officer, Sulyman AbdulRazaq, who spoke with journalists said that the number might pick up gradually later in the day. At the LGEA Primary School Polling Unit 008, Iponrin, Ilorin, in the same local government, only 78 people had voted out of the 540 registered voters when this journalist got there.

Kwara State Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Mr. Abdulafeez Abolore, who is a native of Iponrin, described the voting process as peaceful and commended the Independent Natıonal Electoral Commission, INEC, for the improvement on the manner the exercise was handled this time around.

Speaking on the voters’ apathy, Abolore said that the situation was strange to have low turn out of voters in his ward and promised to liaise with other party members to find out the cause of the development.

Late Mrs Josephine Alo Inuyashi Burial


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here