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‘Our votes don’t count’: Abuja residents shun election




ACROSS the Abuja City Centre, polling units are deserted by voters as eligible voters complained that they have realised that their votes do not count after the February 23 presidential and National Assembly elections.

The election being conducted in the capital territory is to elect area council chairpersons and councillors across the six area councils.

From Area 1 to Area 10 as well as Wuse and Maitaima districts, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ad hoc workers (youth corps members) were waiting for voters to come.

In Area 2 shopping centre, traders opened their shops while the polling unit opposite the shopping centre was empty of voters.

One of the traders told The ICIR that since their votes did not count in the presidential election, there was no need wasting his time to cast a ballot in the area council election.

“I voted last two weeks and they rigged the elections. Our votes don’t count. They should stop wasting our time in this country in the name of organising elections,” the visibly angry trader said.

Traders display their wares on Saturday morning at Area 2 shopping centre while INEC staff wait for voters to come cast their ballots

The non-turnout of voters was not just in the city centre but also in the satellite towns.  In Karu, Nyanya, Lugbe and Kubwa, voters were not coming to cast their ballots.

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“Our votes were rigged in the previous election,” a voter at polling unit 10 in Nyanya, Abuja Municipal Area Council told The ICIR. “There’s no need to vote. We’re just here because few of us still believe this country might get better.”

Some of the voters who spoke to The ICIR at polling unit 07 in Wuse said they were disappointed by their outcome of the presidential and National Assembly elections which they believed were manipulated.

Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the main opposition party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) defeated President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja and 17 other states but lost the overall presidential election to Buhari.

Atiku is challenging the results of the presidential election in court.

Author profile

Chikezie can be reached at comeje@icirnigeria.org. Follow him on Twitter: @KezieOmeje

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