According to reports, voter apathy contributed to the Saturday elections for Governor and State House of Assembly in Rivers State.
Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City Local Government Areas reported empty polling places, while other LGAs in the state saw low voter turnout.
The governorship race saw lower voter turnout than the presidential and national assembly elections in the state, but fervent voters turned out in large numbers.
Also, on February 25th, voters showed up early to the polling places while the Electoral Officers were tardy, but on March 18th, the EO arrived early and fewer voters showed up late to cast their ballots.
However, there were reports on Thursday that town-cries had supposedly spread throughout various towns in the state, warning any voter who would not cast a ballot for a particular political party in the state not to approach the polling places on election day.
The majority of citizens went about their daily lives while the polls were open. In most areas of Port Harcourt, stores began operating in stealth as kids played soccer on prominent roads.
Residents and elected officials in the state, however, concurred that the change was brought about by voters’ disinterest in the governorship and state house assembly elections.
However, one of the young people, Kelvin Kpobia, who was spotted at his place of employment, claimed that he did not participate in the exercise because he had grown disinterested in the voting process.
“Because of what happened on February 25th, during the last election,” Kpobia remarked. The INEC and Nigerian politics no longer pique our curiosity. This is the cause of my absence from my voting location. I won’t be casting a ballot.
“If I cast a ballot, I’m rather certain it won’t matter. This is what I’m saying in light of what happened on February 25. It won’t be any different in this election. I am aware that a large number of people turned out to vote in the most recent election, but the outcome was not what we had hoped for.
Also, according to Wosu Precious, “From my one opinion, it’s because of what transpired in the past election. Voters were already present the last time INEC representatives visited. We assisted them in setting up their equipment. Yet ultimately, the outcome was different from how we had voted.
“We have no interest in casting another ballot. It’s 9:00 and no one has arrived. While INEC staff members have been present, there has been no accreditation.