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Report: Anambra governorship election will set new record in voter apathy

Report: Anambra governorship election will set new record in voter apathy
November 02
08:47 2021

SBM Intelligence, a geopolitical research firm, says it is very unlikely that the November 6 Anambra governorship election will see a high turnout of voters.

To ascertain the expected level of voter apathy in the election, SBM Intelligence carried out a survey among 663 respondents from the three senatorial districts in the state.

The survey set out to check if residents will vote or not, and why.

According to the report, 68 percent of the respondents said they were unlikely to vote in the upcoming election.

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Of this figure, 54 percent said they would not vote because of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) while 26 percent said they would not vote because they had lost faith in the electoral process.

“Our qualitative interviews showed that IPOB has become a byword for disorderliness, crises and aggression. Indeed, our researchers were consistently warned about conducting the survey because in the words of an older respondent in Onitsha in Anambra North, ‘if IPOB gets you, you are in trouble’,” the report reads.

IPOB had announced that it will lock down the south-east if Nnamdi Kanu, its leader, is not released from detention by November 4.

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Emma Powerful, IPOB spokesperson, said the lockdown will be enforced between November 5 and 10.

SBM Intelligence said the election will be a test run for the 2023 general election, and that it will usher in a new low of voter apathy in subsequent governorship elections nationwide.

“Voter apathy in Anambra is a subset of the larger picture in the region as well as the country. Generally, although voter turnout has been on the decline over the last three national elections, falling from 53.68% in 2011 to 43.65% in 2015 and 34.75% in 2019, it is still important for INEC to plan for the possibility of high voter turnout, but not for Anambra,” it said.

“As always in Anambra, voter apathy looks set to be a major challenge in the election12. INEC’s chairman said that out of the 5,720 polling units in the state, 86, or 1.5 percent, have no voters. For that reason, the commission will not be deploying personnel and materials to these polling units. Furthermore, 894 units, representing 15.6 percent of the polling units in the state have between 1 and 49 voters. The election will be held in these polling units.

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“We think that the 6 November governorship elections in Anambra will set a new low in voter turnout in not only the state but in governorship elections nationwide.

“There is a need for intensified measures to restore peace and security in the state, as well as efforts to look into the genuine grievances that are seized upon by separatist groups such as IPOB. It is vital that the eventual winner of the elections forms a government that meets the desires of the people, particularly in terms of economic development and job creation.”

1 Comment

  1. Shina O Sattler-Oyemade
    Shina O Sattler-Oyemade November 02, 14:05

    I Guess It Is time to let the east go Biafra. I mean what’s the point holding East down.

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