From Felix Ikem, Nsukka
The Nsukka Governorship and State Assembly elections in Enugu North Senatorial District of Enugu State on Saturday saw a low turnout of voters compared to the massive turnout witnessed during the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly Polls.
The Sunday Sun monitored the election in the area and observed that the election process was relatively peaceful, free, and fair, but not without reports of violence in some places.
At the Amube polling units I & II, Orba in Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State where Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi cast his vote, there was also a low turnout of voters. Although the governor did not speak to newsmen after casting his vote.
However, at Ngbuji, Ihe-Amufu Ward III, in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area, where the governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP), in Enugu State, Chijioke Edeoga, cast his vote, there was an impressive turnout of voters.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after voting, Edeoga commended residents of the state for coming out to cast their votes. He, however, condemned what he described as localized violence by hired armed thugs in some places, especially in Enugu East Senatorial District.
He thanked the Army, DSS, Police, and other security agencies for their prompt responses to distress calls. Edeoga disclosed that some suspected thugs were arrested by security agencies and urged them to continue with the good work. “I commend security agencies in the state for their prompt responses to distress calls; I urge them to keep it up,” he said.
The LP candidate, however, expressed optimism that the will of the people would prevail at the end of the day since power belongs to the people.
In Nsukka LGA, Chief Chidi Obetta, the newly elected House Representative candidate of LP, while reacting to the low turnout of voters, said that it was due to security threats. He, however, noted that despite the low turnout of votes, his party, LP, is coasting to victory with a wide margin.
A voter who identified himself as Mr. Sunday Ugwu in the Nsukka township polling unit commended INEC for conducting a peaceful and transparent election. Ugwu noted that the earlier arrival of INEC officials and electoral materials contributed to the success of the election. “I commend INEC for making sure that official and voting materials arrived at polling units on time, which encouraged residents to come out and cast their votes,” he said.
Earlier, Mrs. Nnenna Amah, the INEC Electoral Officer in Nsukka LGA, noted that the distribution and movement of official and electoral materials to polling units had been smooth. Amah commended party officials, observers, security agencies, and other stakeholders who monitored the election for their cooperation, which ensured the hitch-free distribution and movement of INEC personnel and materials to polling units.