There was a low turnout of voters for accreditation in some parts of Ekiti, Kwara and Oyo during Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections.
Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who monitored the exercise, report that the exercise was marred by low turnout in Ado-Ekiti, Ikere-Ejkiti, Ise-Ekiti, Efon Alaaye, Igede as well as Iyin-Ekiti, all in Ekiti State.
Responding to the development, the Minister of State for Works, Dayo Adeyeye, and Deputy Governor, Kolapo Olusola, told NAN in separate interviews that the apathy might not be unconnected with the fact that only the House of Assembly election was holding in the state.
In Omu-Aran, Kwara, the elections also witnessed a lower turn-out of eligible voters for accreditation.
A correspondent of NAN reports that some of the polling units in the town and other adjoining communities in Oro, Oke-Oningbin, Oko, Arandun started accreditation as early as 8.a.m.
NAN also observed that most of the units had enough election materials and adequate personnel at their disposal with accreditation going on smoothly.
The INEC Smart Card Reader was seen to be working perfectly in most of the units as against the few hitches experienced in the presidential and National Assembly elections.
Law enforcement personnel from the police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps were also on hand maintaining law and order.
Some of the voters interviewed by NAN, however, attributed the low turn-out to the relaxed atmosphere leading to the elections unlike the tense situation that ushered in the presidential and National Assembly elections.
Chief Jide Adebayo, a community leader in Omu-Aran, commended the orderly and peaceful conduct of voters during the accreditation.
He said he was optimistic of the same peaceful atmosphere when voting commences and the announcement of the final result made.
The Olomu of Omu-Aran, Oba Charles Ibitoye, said the peaceful conduct of the election processes showed that the citizens are now well informed of their civic responsibilities.
“I think the citizens, irrespective of the age brackets, are now fully aware and conscious of their responsibilities to ensure the growth, progress and development of the country,” he said.
Mr Abolarin Ganiyu, an election observer attached with African Youth International Development Foundation (AFYIDEF), described the accreditation process as “very encouraging”.
Low turn-out of voters also characterised the elections in some border communities in Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara.
Contrary to a heavy turn out of voters during the Presidential and National Assembly Elections in the communities, voters deserted their various polling units in Saturday’s polls.
Though the electoral materials and personnel arrived the polling units earlier than before, there was, however, few voters to be accredited as at 9:45 a.m.
At Sabo Area Unit in Ilesha-Baruba, the Chairman of the council, Mallam Mohammed Omar-Bio could not be accredited as a result of the malfunctioning of the card reader at the unit.
Omar-Bio, who regretted the development in an interview with NAN, said that he had informed the Electoral Officer in the local government of the hitches.
At the LGEA Primary School in Ilesha-Baruba where the state Deputy Governor, Peter Kishira was accredited, the process also witnessed a low turn-out of the electorate.
The deputy governor, however, applauded the peaceful conduct of the electorate, saying he believed people would later come out en mass.
In Oyo State, there was low turnout of voters at Okaka, Otu and Igbojaiye in Itesiwaju Local Government Area.
NAN reports that accreditation had also been concluded in many polling units in Iseyin as at 11.30. a.m.(NAN)