The bye-election for Aba North/South Federal Constituency on Saturday recorded low voter turnout.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who monitored the exercise in the commercial city of Aba, reported that the election commenced in most wards at about 9.30 a.m.
At Ward 01, Unit 005 at the Abia Polytechnic in Aba North, only 12 of the 1,890 registered voters cast their votes by 10.30 a.m.
Also in Unit 7, only 10 of the 2,059 registered voters had voted by 10.30 a.m., while seven of the 2,692 registered voters in Unit 8 had cast their votes by about 11 a.m.
At Unit 004 at Eziama High School, only 19 of the 1,280 registered voters had voted, while 12 of 1,031 registered voters at Unit 15 also voted at 11 a.m.
At Eziukwu Ward 1, Unit 005 at Okigwe Primary School, only 22 of the 1,388 registered voters had voted by about 1 p.m.
The Campaign Director for the Peoples Democratic, Christian Okoli, attributed the voter apathy to the prevailing hardship in the country.
Mr Okoli said the electorate went in search of their daily bread rather than coming out to exercise their civic responsibility.
He alleged vote buying by some “desperate politicians”, saying people should be allowed to vote for a candidate of their choice.
“Any society that cannot be allowed to choose their leaders themselves cannot choose good leaders.
“We must make a conscious effort to reduce poverty and illiteracy because they are the ingredients for political malpractice,” he said.
Meanwhile, an All Progressives Congress party agent, Oliver Monday, described the exercise as smooth but pointed out that voter turnout was low.
Mr Monday said the poor voter turnout was people’s direct way of showing their resentment for the electoral fraud being experienced in virtually every election in the state.
The bye-election in the constituency followed the death of the representative, Prestige Ossy, on February 9 in Germany.
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