The much-awaited off-cycle gubernatorial election, where new helmsmen will emerge to lead Bayelsa and Kogi states for the next four years has commenced in the two states. Voting commenced peacefully in the two states with INEC officials arriving at their polling stations on schedule though delay was also observed in some isolated instances. There have
The much-awaited off-cycle gubernatorial election, where new helmsmen will emerge to lead Bayelsa and Kogi states for the next four years has commenced in the two states.
Voting commenced peacefully in the two states with INEC officials arriving at their polling stations on schedule though delay was also observed in some isolated instances.
There have been reported cases of violence and attempts to disrupt voting in some polling units in Kogi state especially in Kogi West Senatorial District. Some alleged attempts by hoodlums to hijack election materials were repelled at some polling units with voters insisting that their votes must count.
Contrary to expectations there has been reported presence of soldiers in some communities in the two states. The police have, however, reported that it requested for gun-boats from both the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Army for security purposes in the creeks of Bayelsa state.
The contest in the two states is between the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress. While the PDP is the incumbent in Bayelsa state, the APC is the incumbent in Kogi state.
The Bayelsa state governorship was at midweek almost marred by controversy stemming out of orders from four different courts invalidating and revalidating the participation of the APC in the Bayelsa state election. One of the court orders removed the deputy governorship candidate of the APC while the other declared the September 4, 2019 primary election of the APC unconstitutional and not conducted according the party rules on party primaries.
These temporarily created confusion and put the INEC in quagmire of how to remove a Party from the ballot when all the ballot papers have been printed and actual distribution of materials commenced in some places.
But by Friday the appellate Court of Appeal one in Abuja and the other in Yenagoa vacated the orders and stayed execution and order a return to status quo ante.
There are forty five political parties fielding candidates in the Bayelsa state governorship election and total registered number of voters is put at 923,182 but only 889,308 collected their PVCs. The election would hold in 8 Local Government Areas.
There are a total of 21 candidates including three women out a total of 93 registered political parties in the country participating in the Kogi state election.
In the two states campaigns are not issues-driven, Whereas, issues such as development of the state in the areas of construction of airport and state universities still find spaces in Bayelsa state, the issues are not well articulated to the electorate in such a way to be able to make informed decision on who to vote for in Kogi state.
But, clearly, it is a two-horse race between the incumbent Governor Yahaya Bello of the APC and Engr Musa Wada of the PDP both of whom may garner over seventy percent of the total votes in what could be a very close contest.
A total of 1,485,828 persons collected their Permanent Voter Cards and are eligible to vote in the election and voters’ turnout has been on average so far. There have been a few attempts at intimidation of voters and vote buying has been alleged in some places though not taking place at the polling units.
Details of other happenings on the election in the two sates shall be updated as soon as polling ends and they move toward vote counting and collation.