Plateau: ‘Farming activities’ ruin Pengana Constituency by-election

2 min read
A polling station in Mr. Ali area, Bassa during Saturday by-election

There seems to be a general voter apathy in the ongoing by-election for the member representing Pengana constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly.

The Bassa Local Government Constituency became vacant after its member-elect, Mr. Ezekiel Afon slumped and died hours after being announced winner of the March 2019 State polls.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had fixed Saturday August 3, 2019 for reelection into the sit.

Election officials however arrived polling stations as early as 8am but as of 12 noon, only a handful of voters had turned out.

In some polling units, the election officials were seen idle with no single voter to attend to.

The Chairman of Bassa Local Government Area, Mr. Chindo Gona attributed the low turnout to increasing farming activities.

“This is a rainy season and many people are concerned about their crops in the farms,” said the chairman in an interview.

Mr. Chindo Gona inspects polling centres

Some voters however claimed the low turnout was due to loss of confidence in the electoral system.

Mr. Sunday Afon, a resident of Mr. Ali community in the locality told our correspondent, “people believe that their votes wont count, therefore it’s best not to waste time on the process.”

Low voter turnout in most centers

The Chairman of Riyom Local Government Council, Mr. Emmanuel Jugu who was among state officials supervising the polls however believes the system can only change with active public participation.

“That it failed yesterday doesn’t mean it will fail again,” Mr. Jugu told journalists.

As of the time of publishing this report, all the polling stations were peaceful with massive security presence.

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