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Anambra lowest in gov election participation history- YIAGA

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Praise Necherem

Election Observer group, the Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement, YIAGA Africa, has rated Anambra state as the lowest in participation in governorship elections in the history of governorship elections in the country.

YIAGA election programme manager, Mr Paul James, stated this on Wednesday while speaking to newsmen on the side-lines of a programme to engage civil society organisation (CSO) leaders in the state.

The CSOs engagement was part of pre-election activities for the November 6 governorship election in Anambra state.

He said, “According to records, in the 2015 presidential election, over a million people (24 per cent), voted in Anambra, while in the 2017 governorship election in the state, the figure dropped to 21 per cent.

“It is sad because, in the history of governorship elections in the country, that was the worst in terms of electoral participation.

“In the 2019 presidential election also, there was a little shift to 26 per cent in terms of participation. You begin to wonder why Anambra people are more interested in election at the centre and not the election in their state?”

James highlighted low voter education, electoral violence, voter inducement by political parties and lack of voter engagement as some of the factors that contributed to low electoral participation in the state.

He added, ‘We are engaging with CSOs to understand the political climate in Anambra, what to expect in the forthcoming election and to share our methodologies of election observation via Watching the Vote and Parallel Vote Tabulation plans.

“Voter engagement, information and education (activities) are very low in Anambra, especially education targeted at women, youths and persons with disability.

“We need to agree, as stakeholders, on how to improve voter education, engagement and mobilisation to change the narrative in the Nov.6 guber election. We have an opportunity to right the wrong.

“Whether we like it or not, if you do not participate in the election, you do not have the moral right to question the kind governance you get. You are responsible for the kind of government you get.

He urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to publish information on how to locate the new polling units and how to get permanent voter cards to make the process easy for the people.

He said it was wrong for Umahi to wish the nation another president like Buhari whom he claimed has failed the nation in all ramifications.

The state chapter of APC, while reacting to Wike’s comment on Umahi, described the Rivers state governor as roundly unfit to occupy any public office in Nigeria especially the exalted office of a state governor.

The party stated that Wike’s public utterances and carriage since he became Rivers state governor were unbecoming of someone who is holding a public office.

In their statement in Abakaliki, the state capital, Caretaker Committee Chairman of the party, Chief Stanley Okoro, Emegha wondered why Wike had shifted his focus from the governance challenges in Rivers state to attacking Governor Umahi at every opportunity.

He traced Wike’s anger to Governor Umahi’s defection from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said “His (Wike’s) headache is that Governor Umahi left the PDP for the APC. Since last year that Governor Umahi left the PDP for the APC Governor Wike has lost focus and direction.

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