Imo State: Off-cycle Guber Election Records Low Voter Turnout 

Ifeoma Orji, Owerri.

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There have been reports of low turnout of voters for the November 11 off-cycle guber election in Imo State, south-east Nigeria.

According to Voice of Nigeria’s correspondent, Ifeoma Orji, a low turnout was recorded across most polling units, as voters turned up sparingly.
The voting process, however, has been orderly.

VON reports that polling units around Owerri Municipal and New Owerri opened between 8 a.m and 8:20 a.m. And election materials arrived before the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) officials and the electorate, particularly at polling units around New Owerri Wards 1, 2 and 3.
VON’s correspondent says that the voting process has been orderly, and there has been no report of the BVAS malfunctioning at any polling unit.
The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) is an electronic device designed to read Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) and authenticate voters – using the voters’ fingerprints.


The voting exercise includes an electronic capturing, using the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), after which voters check the voters’ register for their names.

Registered voters then have their right thumbs stained with the electoral ink before being issued a signed ballot paper. Voters then proceed to cast their ballots in a cubicle with the INEC inscription.

The last process is the folding of the ballot paper in an upright position before slotting it into the ballot box.


A Voter Shares His Opinion 

Most people who voted were seen waiting for when the votes will be counted and the figure registered at the polling units before onward transmission to the INEC result-viewing (IReV) portal.

It’s a pleasure to be selecting someone who will pilot the affairs of my state in the next four years. I will not say because the past elections did not go the way I wanted, I will not come out to vote.
“I have taken the decision that I will continue to vote until the day my vote will count. I believe that my vote will count this time.
“But with what I am seeing here, I am not happy. In the last election in February, this whole place was filled with people, but today the place is really scanty.
“I don’t really know what people are doing in their homes, especially with voter education that was carried out before this election. 
“…People still preferred to stay at home. For me, voter apathy is not good for our democracy because if you want a positive change, you must come out and vote,” said a pensioner, Venerable Felix Abanobi, who spoke to Voice of Nigeria after casting his ballot.
The gubernatorial election in Imo State is believed to be among three key contenders: the incumbent Governor Hope Uzodimma of the All Progressives Congress (APC); a former National Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Samuel Anyanwu; and an entrepreneur, Athan Achonu, the guber candidate of the Labour Party (LP).