The supplementary elections held in Edo State on Saturday were characterized by voter apathy and intimidation, as voters were threatened to leave the area if they did not vote for a particular political party. Furthermore, only agents of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were visible in most of the polling units, raising concerns about fairness and transparency.
According to a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who spoke anonymously, “The harassment was just too much. Some people who were resisting them were slapped and pushed away from the venue, I had to hurriedly leave the place for my personal safety.” Another voter, John, said he wanted to vote for the Labour Party but was intimidated by some boys who were harassing people at the polling unit.
Peter Igbinedion, the PDP agent in Unit 21, Ward 12 Oredo in Agabdo Primary school, denied the allegations of intimidation, stating that the exercise had been free and fair. He also praised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for ensuring adequate security and the presence of officials at the polling units.
However, there were reports of voters’ apathy and low turnout compared to the previous election. The supplementary elections were held for the House of Representatives in Orhionmwon/Uhunmwonde Federal Constituency and state house of assembly in Oredo East, Egor, and Ovia South West constituencies.
The allegations of voter intimidation and low turnout raise concerns about the credibility and fairness of the supplementary elections in Edo State. It is crucial for INEC to address these issues and ensure that the will of the people prevails in the exercise