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Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State

Mixed reactions trail conduct of Enugu State local government election

Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State

By Emmanuel Acha
Enugu, Feb. 29, 2020

Mixed reactions have trailed the conduct of the local government elections in Enugu State, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

NAN reports that while some election observers described the exercise as lacking in credibility due to obvious lapses, some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members described it as a `peaceful, free and fair exercise’.

An election observer, who monitored the election at the six polling units in Okpara Square, Independence Layout, Enugu North Local Government Area, described the exercise as `lacking in credibility’.

The observer, who spoke to NAN on condition of anonymity, said that what he witnessed at the polling units was `a mockery of democracy and waste of people’s time’.

“It is a shame that this is called an election. It would have been better that the state government channeled the resources they invested in this exercise into something that will benefit the state than what we witnessed today.

“The government should have continued using caretaker chairmen than what we saw today” the source said.

Another observer said that voting in the polling units were not done with any voters’ register.

“They had concluded voting before the arrival of the voters’ register and I will be surprised if the results tally with the accreditation,” the observer said.

However, an agent of the PDP in polling unit 004 at Okpara Square, Miss Ebere Udenta, said that it was not correct that the election witnessed irregularities.

Udenta said that the process was credible enough, adding that parties that participated in the exercise were given fair opportunities.

Also, the Presiding Officer in polling unit 004, Miss Loveth Ezea, said that the only problem they witnessed was lack of result sheets which she said were later provided.

Ezea said that the polling unit she presided over conducted the election with the manual voters’ register, adding that there were no irregularities.

“What the observers said did not happen in my polling unit. We had no problem and the turnout was fair enough,” Ezea said.

Mr Theophilus Aluma, who voted at Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy, Trans Ekulu, said that the exercise was marred by voter apathy.

Aluma, a member of the PDP, said that the turnout of voters was a far cry from the local government election of 2017.

He said that the absence of party agents from opposition parties at the polling units was an indication of lack of confidence in the process by members of the opposition parties.

“This can be attributed to the belief that all available positions in a local government election must be won by the ruling party in the state,” Aluma said.

Also, the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Mr Ben Nwoye expressed disappointment in the manner the exercise was conducted.

Nwoye described the exercise as `a complete sham and electoral fraud’.

“Electoral materials in some places where the so called election took place were not accompanied with result sheets.

“All the information we got from our situation rooms are the same. In totality, we are saying there was no election in Enugu State today,” he stressed.

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