Nigerians across the country have begun to show signs of voter apathy ahead of this Saturday’s presidential and national Assembly elections following the economic hardship afflicting the citizenry due to fuel scarcity and paucity of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) redesigned naira notes.
Speaking to TNN in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital, some respondents said though they were willing to exercise their civic responsibility on election day, the possibility for them to go to their various polling units was getting slimmer by the day as a result of inability to assess cash from the deposit money banks.
Bayelsa is mostly covered by water and some who resident in the state capital need to cough out about N15,000 to go to their villages to vote and return if they had registered there.
The much awaited 2023 presidential and national Assembly election comes up this Saturday. Nevertheless, the awaiting voters are being faced with financial difficulties they never bargained for.
According to a prospective voter, James Olale, from Brass local government area, his hope of exercising his voting right was almost gone because he had tried all he could to withdraw his own cash from the banks to no avail.
“I had made up my mind long ago to go to my community in Brass Local government area to cast that one vote that is so dear to my heart. I did not foresee it that the there will be this financial hardship that is seriously threatening my franchise in this election,” Olale lamented.
The same was the lamentation of Mrs. Nemine Freedom from Southern Ijaw council area who complained that it would be difficult to transport herself to the her village to cast her vote.
Meanwhile, some of the electorate had vowed to go out to exercise their civic rights for their choice candidates on election day no matter the situation.
Preye Odumake, a native of Ekeremor local government area, said the Central Bank of Nigeria had shattered his hope of casting his first vote in his life.
“I have not voted before in my life. That is why I wanted to go and vote this time because of the introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) which they said will make our votes count. But as it stands, the CBN naira redesign policy has destroyed my plan to go home and vote because I have not been able to assess my cash,” he complained.