The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has blamed the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) for the poor voter turnout at last Saturday’s governorship election.
Supporting Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Sam Egwu, said “the fear of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)” has become “the beginning of wisdom” in the South-East.
Speaking on a live TV programme on Sunday night, Egwu stated that the situation was not really good for Nigeria’s democracy.
“There is a whole state of fear that has been created by the politics of agitation for a separate state in this part of the country.
“IPOB has been able to enforce the sit-at-home order over time. So, the fear of the repercussion of what IPOB could do to people has become the beginning of wisdom.
“We have had a problem with extremely low voter turnout. The voter turnout, I think, if you are scientific in terms of what we are seeing in many local governments, you are actually dealing with less than 25 percent voter turnout, and this is not really good for our democracy,” the Niger State REC said.
IPOB had ordered the sit-at-home across the South East region from November 5, the eve of the election, if it’s leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who is currently awaiting trial in detention at the facility of the Department of State Service (DSS), was not released unconditionally by last Thursday.
But the separatist group eventually called off its five-day sit-at-home order on Thursday by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful.
IPOB claimed that it cancelled the order following consultations with elders, traditional, and religious leaders in the region.