March 25, 2019

Voter apathy highest in Lagos, Jigawa tops turnout – INEC

Voter apathy highest in Lagos, Jigawa tops turnout – INEC

Statistics released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) revealed that less than 19 per cent of Lagos State voters with Permanent Voter Cards came out to vote in the governorship and state legislative elections.

The electoral umpire further disclosed that out of the 6.5 million registered voters in Lagos State, 5.5 million obtained the PVCs.

However, figures released by INEC showed that only 1,006,074 actually voted during the general elections, representing 18.29 per cent of the 5.5 million voters with the PVCs in the state.

Also Read: ‘We’re tracking state accounts to prevent looting by outgoing govs’ – EFCC

The eventual winner of the governorship election, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress, garnered 739,445 votes, indicating that less than 14 per cent of Lagosians with the PVCs voted for him.

The total number of accredited voters during the presidential election in Lagos was 1,196,490, which was higher than the turnout in the governorship election by 190,416.

The information also confirmed that Jigawa recorded the highest voter turnout in the March 8 polls at 72 per cent.

No fewer than 1,169,925 persons voted out of the 1,625,721 persons with the PVCs.

Sokoto has the second highest voter turnout as 60 per cent of persons with the PVCs were accredited to vote in the elections which were later declared inconclusive.

About 1, 033, 081 persons were accredited to vote out of the 1, 726, 887 with the PVCs.

Interestingly, no state in the southern part of Nigeria recorded up to 50 per cent voter turnout.

Of all the states where governorship election held in the South, only the result of Rivers State was held back.

Delta State recorded the highest voter turnout in the South with a little above 48 per cent voter turnout.

About 1,188,784 out of 2,470,924 persons with the PVCs were accredited to vote in the oil-rich state while about 37 per cent turned out to vote in Akwa Ibom.

This low turnout of voters could be as a result of the violent atmosphere as confirmed by a National Commissioner of INEC, Prof. Lai Olurode.

Olurode stated, “The aftermath of the presidential election in some places, including Lagos, made many believe that their safety would not be guaranteed.

“The average voter wants to be sure that when he leaves his home, he will return safely.

“It is important to stress that INEC improved on logistics but other stakeholders in the electoral process probably didn’t do enough.

“Certainly, there is room for better performance in future elections. Nigeria certainly deserves better electoral engagement.

“Elections ought not to be the equivalent of a slaughter’s slab. Some politicians display an unbelievable level of desperation.

“We also need to create an electoral regime other than the present zero-sum game, one in which every participant is a winner.”

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