Enugu - Late arrival of materials and apathy in most places marked Saturday’s local government elections in Enugu State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that with the candidates of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) unchallenged in most of the wards and councils, the exercise is merely a rubber stamp.
Reports from some areas, however, indicate that the elections took off smoothly and witnessed large turnout, especially in the constituencies of chairmanship candidates.
A correspondent who visited Umabor, the hometown of the chairmanship candidate for Nsukka, reports that a large crowd showed up to affirm the candidacy of Charles Ugwu, the only contestant.
A civil servant in the area, Festus Aleke, told NAN that it was incumbent on the people to show solidarity with their own.
“Charles is our son and we have to support him. Even if he doesn’t have an opponent, we have to come out and support him,” Aleke said.
Conversely, voter apathy was recorded in most of the polling stations in Achara Layout, Enugu South Local Government Area.
The voters were yet to arrive for accreditation at the Igbariam Primary School polling station and others as at 10 a.m.
One of the presiding officers, Chibueze Chukwu, told NAN that the election materials had not been supplied just as the voters were yet to show up.
“We are still waiting for the supervisor to come with the materials. Whenever they come, we will start accreditation after which the voting will start,” he said.
In Udenu local government, the outgoing chairman, Dr Godwin Abonyi, told NAN that the turnout was impressive and that the election was going on smoothly as at mid-day.
At Ikem, headquarters of Isi-Uzo local government, voting started late as the APGA councillorship candidate for Ward 2, who is the incumbent councillor, insisted on the right way of doing things.
An eyewitness told NAN that there were skirmishes between the supporters of the APGA candidate and their PDP counterparts, which held up voting in the area.
As at 1 p.m., however, a civil servant in the area, Fabian Ogbu, told NAN that voting had commenced and that things had normalised.
Ogbu said there was no queue of voters as people just trickled in to vote and go.
NAN also observed that a combined team of the police, civil defence and peace corps were on ground in most places to provide security for the exercise.