ANALYSIS: Anambra 2021 governorship election records ‘historic low’ voter turnout


Following Tuesday’s supplementary election in Ihiala Local Government Verbalize, the significant-awaited Anambra governorship election has been concluded with the candidate of the All Progressives Large Alliance (APGA), Charles Soludo, declared the winner.

The election was once crucial not accurate to Anambra Verbalize but to Nigeria, with the Independent Nationwide Electoral Price (INEC) calling it a “massive test” to Nigeria’s democracy.

The closing outcomes announced early Wednesday by INEC showed that Mr Soludo polled 112,229 votes to peek off the matter from his closest rival, Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Occasion (PDP), who polled 53,807 votes.

Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC) came third with 43,285 votes while Ifeanyi Ubah, the candidate of the Young Innovative Occasion (YPP), came within the support of with 21,261 votes.

As predicted by PREMIUM TIMES, the four candidates talked about above had been the leading contenders but Mr Soludo won with a enormous margin, clearing 19 of the 21 native governments within the enlighten.

Both Mr Ozigbo of PDP and Mr Ubah of YPP won one native authorities every within the scramble.

Of the 2,466,638 registered voters in Anambra as announced by INEC, simplest 253,388 had been authorized. Within the cease, there had been simplest 253,388 votes forged, of which 8,108, had been rejected.

This means simplest 10 per cent of the registered voters within the enlighten voted accurate through the election. Simply set, simplest one in every ten registered voters within the enlighten’s 21 native authorities areas, consisting of 326 wards and 5,720 polling devices, voted on Saturday and Tuesday.

Election observers and civil society organisations had predicted the low voters’ turnout which they said will be attributable to “late arrival of election materials, lack of belief and anguish of violence.” A PREMIUM TIMES prognosis showed a model that is deeply rooted within the enlighten.

A glimpse by SBM Intelligence, a geopolitical compare firm, earlier predicted that 60 per cent of registered voters had decided to not participate within the election. Reasons given by one of the indispensable indispensable respondents consist of insecurity and lack of belief within the electoral system. Also, many of us that came out to vote couldn’t produce so attributable to the failure of INEC’s BVAS machine which was once supposed to accredit registered voters earlier than they are allowed to vote.

This newspaper furthermore reported how the election campaign season was once characterised by anguish of attack by the separatist neighborhood, IPOB.

The polity was once annoying, prompting federal authorities to deploy a large different of police officers. The deployment of over 34,000 police officers and hundreds of assorted safety personnel was once to shut any violent acts by IPOB and varied armed groups accurate through the election, in particular as IPOB had declared a take a seat-at-dwelling present to coincide with the election. IPOB simplest announced the cancellation of the take a seat-at-dwelling present two days earlier than the election.

Despite the cancellation, analysts said the “anguish was once palpable” attributable to the neighborhood’s take a seat-at-dwelling present has been so good that even when it lifts the ban, “residents peaceable take a seat-at-dwelling either out of solidarity or to err on the facet of warning.”

History of voter turnout in Anambra

Since the consolidation of democracy in 1999, elections in Anambra Verbalize had been marred by low voters turnout.

The governorship elections within the enlighten maintain never witnessed as a lot as 50 per cent voter turnout apart from in 2007 when the election was once characterised by allegations of massive rigging, per the Centre for Democracy and Pattern (CDD).

On the opposite hand, even supposing the voter turnout in outdated governorship elections in Anambra was once low, the unique election had the bottom turnout.

Of the 1.84 million registered voters within the enlighten in 2010, simplest 302,000 changed into out to vote on election day. This interprets to about 16 per cent of voters.

In 2013, simplest 465,891 of the total 1,770,127 registered voters truly went out to vote on election day – representing about 25 per cent.


Likewise, within the 2017 election, decrease than a quarter of the total different of registered voters truly participated within the polls. INEC had said of the 2,064,134 residents registered as eligible voters for the election, simplest 448,711 – about 21 per cent – showed as a lot as vote.

The turnout reached a nadir in Saturday’s election which had a turnout of 10 per cent.

Voter apathy, a pattern in Nigeria’s fourth republic

Other than Anambra, Nigerians’ aversion to vote casting accurate through elections is neatly pronounced. Here’s no matter the extensive quantity of cash spent by the authorities.

Within the final two electoral cycles, including low season elections, voter turnout across the country has been decrease than 35 per cent, per INEC salubrious figures.

Handiest just a few elections had increased percentages. Some fresh by-elections recorded as low as 3 and 8 per cent voter turnout.

Final September, simplest a quarter of the eligible voters voted within the Edo governorship election, a historic low and a decline from 32 per cent in 2016.

Within the Ondo governorship election too, of the 1,812,634 eligible voters, simplest 32.8 per cent (or 595,213) changed into out. In 2016, the turnout was once 35.6 per cent.

Numerous causes for low turnout

Some observers maintain said that abstinence from elections would possibly per chance per chance be the folks’s design of displaying civic insurrection attributable to failed promises by elected officers.

Bigger than this, elections within the country are in most cases marred by violence and disruptions. From 2006 to 2015, about 4,000 lives had been lost accurate through elections, Crisis neighborhood said in its 2018 represent.

In a similar design, the historical previous of questionable elections conducted by INEC, just like the 2007 polls, which global overseers described as a “charade” adds to the causes voters boycott elections.

To boot to, the shortage of belief of eligible voters within the electoral system apart from the authorities has furthermore confirmed to be a contributing element to the low voter turnout in Nigerian elections.

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