The Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that people’s votes count.
Dogara made the call after casting his vote at Gwaranga 007 Polling Unit of Bogoro local government area of Bauchi state on Saturday.
The Speaker, who voted alongside his wife, Gimbiya Dogara, some few minutes to 12:00 noon expressed satisfaction with the smooth conduct of the elections.
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He however noted that there was low turnout of voters in the election when compared with the turnout in the Presidential and National Assembly elections held two weeks ago.
According to him, the low turnout of voters might not be unconnected with the fear that their votes may not count.
“From the conduct of the election, I think, it is peaceful. But what I have seen here is that there is no mammoth crowd like the last election.
“I don’t know what happened and some of you who were here during the election saw the crowd, but I can’t see that kind of turn out here today. I don’t know what is responsible for that, may be voter’s apathy.
“The fear that people’s votes may not count is the reason why people did not turn up as such because we saw that in the last election, the problem was not with the voting, people came out to vote, the problem started at the coalition level, especially at the ward level,” he said.
The Speaker informed that in the last Presidential and National Assembly elections, the elections were conducted peacefully at polling units and results were declared but they allegedly started changing at the ward, local government and constituency levels.
“So I guess part of the reason why we have voter’s apathy is that people think their votes don’t count and as such, what is the point voting.
“The problem started with the coalition and we hope that things don’t repeat itself in this election,” he warned.