Dogara Blames Voter’s Apathy On Electoral Fraud

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Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara has warned that collation of results at the ward, Local government and State levels must be done to reflect the outcomes at the polling units.

He also warned that the figures must not change the moment they leave the polling units to the constituency level.

Dogara handed down the warning amid fears that many Nigerians may have lost confidence in the electoral processes.

His fears followed the low turnout of voters for the governorship and House of Assembly election held in Bauchi State alongside 28 others.

Speaking after he cast his vote in his polling unit in Gwarangah, Bogoro Local Government Area, Bauchi State, the speaker said the apathy shown by the voters arose from a feeling that their votes do not count, especially as witnessed in the results declared in the presidential elections.

He noted that while the process at the polling units were clearly credible, the situation changed when the results were taken to the collation centres, leading to an outcome that did not reflect the true voting pattern.

He said: “What I have seen is that there is no mammoth crowd like last election. Some of you were here, you saw the crowd and how many lines were here, it was even a battle to even get to the front, I can’t see that kind of crowd and I don’t know what is responsible for it, maybe voter apathy.

“Because we saw that in the last election, the problem wasn’t the voting, people came out and voted. The problem started at the collation level, especially at the ward level. Collation at the polling level was almost done peacefully and concluded in a very transparent manner but at the ward level to the local government level to the constituency level, things started changing.

“So I guess one of the reasons why we have this apathy is that people think their votes do not count and as such, what is the point? So they go to the market, they go to the farm, for those who do dry season farming, rather than coming to the polling units to vote because they feel that their votes do not count. At the polling units in the last elections, at the polling units, elections were credible but the problem started at the collation and we hope that this does not repeat itself in this election.”

The speaker however commended the voting process at his polling unit, saying it was peaceful.

“From what I have seen, it is like the conduct is peaceful, apart from this pushing by the crowd. If you are a politician and you are in touch with your base, this pushing is always there. The conduct of the election itself, I think it is very peaceful”, he said in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Turaki Hassan.

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