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Low turnout for election in Edo



...Obaseki blames heavy presence of security men on the streets

By Chika Nnadozie, Benin City

People did not turn out in good number for today’s state legislature elections in Edo State.
While some analysts deem it an evidence that the populace has lost faith in the voting system and the institution, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki ascribe the heavy presence of military men on the street during the polls as a major deterrant of potential voters.

Although there was relative peace with the BVA synchronizing perfectly and a heavy security presence around the Benin metropolis in compliance with Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba’s directive of restriction of movement during the election period, The voter turnout was low at the various polling units visited.

At Units 7 and 8, Ward 1, Ezoti Primary School, and Unit 9, St. Paul Primary School in Ward 1, Oredo Local Government Area, INEC officials arrived at 7.35 am and accreditation began at 8.30 am. It was, however, observed that only a few voters were seen during the visit.

At Polling Units 7 and 8 at Evbuotubu, under Egor LGA, the materials were set by 8:23 am. Each unit carries 666 ballot papers with three security officers and six INEC officials.

Units 42 and 43, Ward 4 along Mission Road, which witnessed electoral incidents occasioned by ballot box snatching during the February 25th Presidential and National Assembly elections were peaceful at the time of the visit. INEC officials were on ground with sensitive materials awaiting voters who were yet to arrive at the polling units as of 9:24 am.

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At Unit 54, Ward 1, Felicity Junction, Concord road, voting commenced at 8:30 am, but the turnout of voters was a far cry from what was experienced two weeks ago in the presidential election.

At Units 27, 28, 29, 30, 71, and 72, Uyiosa Primary School, Uzebu Quarters Ward 1, and Units 2 and 3, Ward 5, I.C.E Oredo Local Government Area, voting was ongoing peacefully with low voter turnout.

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