Lagos senatorial: Youths ‘missing’ at polling units amid low participation, card reader glitch

Electoral officers have recorded very low turn out in the ongoing senatorial by-elections in various wards in Lowa, Ikorodu.

BusinessDay observed that shops were opened for economic activities all around Lowa environs while voting was going on.

The youths were also ‘missing’ at various polling units visited.

“People are not coming out to vote,” said Ajaye John, a PDP agent. “This is a by-election and many people are not even aware. It was yesterday that I started talking to people about it.”

At Ward A, Polling Unit 22, a resident also reported low turnout, stating that the expected result would be impacted as a result.

From his perspective, he argues that the election would not yield the expected outcome because the required population did not come out to participate.

“Look around you, the people here are the older generation. The youths looking for a change are not here and their interest will not be represented,” the resident said.

Explaining the reason for the low turnout, Ademola Okubena, an APC agent, told this publication that he discovered that people have lost trust in the government as they think that elected officials fight for their own pockets.

He also said poverty and the hardship currently squeezing the life out of Lagosians was another factor fostering voter apathy.

“People prefer to go to their various places of business. The people you see coming out to vote are either devoted APC or PDP members,” Okubena said.

Visiting four polling units in the area, it was also confirmed that card-reader glitches were also other problems identified in the voting process. Though the process was very peaceful.

An INEC official, Maria Egberehrhe, said they had problems verifying some of the cards. She explained that they had the names of people but the card reader fails to accept their cards, thereby failing to display the voter’s name.

According to her, when this happens, the person will not be allowed to vote. The residential form could not be used either in this situation, BusinessDay learnt.

Sunday Okoli, a PDP agent, found himself in this situation, while complaining of poor turnout, he also lamented his inability to vote despite having his details on paper with INEC’s team.

“I went to vote, my picture and everything is there, but the card reader did not pick it. So, they said I’m not eligible to vote,” he said, explaining his experience with INEC’s card reader at Ward A, Polling Unit 22.

At the time, not this report, three persons could not vote due to card reader issues.

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