#Elections2023: Borno Residents Blame Voter Apathy On Cashless Policy
Voters in the Maiduguri metropolis have blamed the cashless policy for their low turnout for the presidential and national assembly elections.
It was observed that out of the 750 registered voters at PU 001 of Sir Kashim Ward, only 89 voted as at the end of voting time by 4:15 pm, while out of the 547 registered voters at Bunu neighborhood PU 0011 only 102 voted; as out of 511 registered voters of Bulama Modu Dipcharima PU 001 at Bulumkutu only 157 voted.
In most of the polling units across the metropolis, voter turnout oscillated between 15 percent and 20 percent.
“Over the decades, voters got used to spelling their votes for hard cash,” Suleiman Idris, a voter at Sir Kashim Ibrahim Ward recalled, lamenting, “now, for the first time in the life history of the majority of voters, they did not receive cash because the politicians themselves are suffering cash crunch; so they felt no use to turn out to vote”.
Another voter, Musa Abdullahi, having cast his vote at a polling unit at Shehuri Ward said “most of my friends said they preferred sleeping than coming out to vote because nobody offered them cash for their votes as the politicians themselves don’t have the cash to dole out for the votes.”
Also Abubakar Modu who voted at Bulumkutu said “the cashless policy is lashing hard at the politicians; they are suffering the cash crunch more severely than everyone else because they lack the cash to buy votes; and voters are not used to voting without receiving pittances from politicians; they feel their votes are not for free, so they decided to stay away.”