Following heightened comments by politicians that the March 28, 2015, general elections would be the toughest the country has witnessed in the past 16 years and the attendant apprehension it has caused among the ordinary people, it has been observed that some residents of Benin metropolis have started stock-piling foodstuffs to beat the antics of politicians, and prevailing market forces of demand and supply as the elections draw near. A resident of Benin City, Mama Uyi who earns her living selling oranges along Sapele Road, stated in an exclusive chat, that she had started storing food stuffs at home since she did not want a repeat of what happened to her during the last 2011 general elections.
Another respondent who did not give his name said that due to the uncertainty and possible security issues which could crop-up unexpectedly, he had started buying foods stuff gradually to avoid being caught in uncanny situations in the street during the election period.
Mrs. Jane Oshioke stated that she had started stockpiling foodstuff and beef to save costs or possible scarcity of such item since some merchants who deal on such commodities would travel to their home states to cast their votes, creating a vacuum which leads to a hike in pricing during and after the election.
However, it was observed that despite the assurance by members of the Armed Forces to provide adequate security and guarantee safety of lives during this period in time, political parties still have Herculean hurdles to cross in convincing the average common masses/electorate to come out en masse and use their PVCs to elect the candidate of their choice.
The respondents were randomly chosen and they showed mixed feelings in coming out to vote, stating that they were not ready to take the bullet for any politician, choosing instead to hug their beds and observe emanating issues from the confines of their homes.
However, it must be noted that despite perceived voter apathy or apprehension, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has distributed over 1.2 million PVCs in Edo State two weeks before the deadline for such collection.