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Voters Apathy, Violence, Intimidations Mar Voting In Rivers



There was a low turn-out of voters during yesterday’s Rivers State governorship and House of Assembly elections in some parts of the state’s 23 local government areas, as many voters stayed didn’t go out to vote because they believe that their votes won’t count.

Generally, the queues at the polling units were much more shorter than the queues that were formed by a mass of voters who turned out during the presidential and the National Assembly election.

There were also cases of violence in some areas after voters discovered that the election materials meant for another local government area had found their way to their own council area, leading to violent protest.

Also, there was widespread intimidation of voters by party agents who strategically positioned themselves around polling units and warned voters of the consequences of not voting for their own candidates.

In Ogbakiri in Emuoha Local Government Area, there was a shootout among opposing political camps that led to the brief suspension of voting.

In some of the areas where voters were intimidated, security operatives turned a blind as armed thugs made overtures to voters for vote buying or threatened the ones that failed to cooperate.

In Aleto Community in Eleme Local Government Area, some voters that refused to “cooperate” were asked to leave the queue or risk being assaulted.

Meanwhile, Governor Nyesom Wike, who voted at Ward 9, Unit 7, Obio/Akpor at 11.10a.m. has decried the low turnout of voters during the election.