68% of respondents in a survey who are registered voters in Anambra State say they will not vote in the forthcoming Anambra gubernatorial election scheduled for Saturday, November 6, 2021.
This was revealed in a report released on Monday by SBM intelligence revealed titled, “A look at potential apathy in the 2021 Anambra Election.”
IPOB was cited as the number one reason for potential voter apathy for the election, with 54% of respondents to the survey citing the pro-Biafra organisation as the number one reason which will contribute to voter apathy in the election.
Highlights of the report:
The report stated that 0.6% of the survey’s respondents are not registered voters, however of the 99.4% who are, 68% said that they would not vote in the November 6, 2021 election.
If they will vote: Only 29% of respondents in Anambra Central said they will vote, 15% in Anambra North and 42% in Anambra South.
Reasons for not voting: 54% of respondents said IPOB, 26% highlighted the loss of faith, 9% cited potential rigging and 6% blame insecurity.
What is most important for the state heading into the elections: 32% of respondents said Security, Biafra (29%), Economic Development (24%), Jobs (11%), Infrastructure (3%) and Good governance (1%).
“Anambra has in particular suffered from voter apathy in repeated elections, turnout in the previous governorship elections being 22% in 2017, down from 32% in 2013,” the report said.
The state also suffers from worsening economic conditions including high unemployment and rising poverty with a 44% unemployment rate.
“The electoral umpire would also be looking to create 56,872 new polling units around the country, which will include former voting points and voting point settlements, which should increase access to voting for voters. This is because the current 119,947 polling units were created to serve about 58 million voters in 1999 and have remained unchanged despite a 42% increase in registered voters over the last two decades,” it added.
The report also noted that the election may set a new low in voter turnout, in not only the state but in governorship elections nationwide, citing high voter apathy has been worsened by insecurity and escalating violence in the state, especially as the Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) is opposed to conducting elections in the region until the release of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
The report urged the eventual winner of the election to form a government that meets the desires of the people, particularly in terms of economic development and job creation as it is evident, however, that there is declining faith in elections specifically and democracy as a whole, among the electorate due to a lack of free and fair electoral process and the inability of successive administrations to deliver on the expectations of the people.
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Recall Nairametrics reported last week that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) threatened that the November 6, governorship election in Anambra State would not take place if their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is not released from the custody of the Department of State Security (DSS) before the election.