The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the weekend embarked on campaigns on the streets of Lokoja, capital of Kogi state educating the citizens on the ills of vote buying in the November 16 governorship election. Youths in their hundreds danced round the town with drums and trumpets, protected by different security agencies like the
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the weekend embarked on campaigns on the streets of Lokoja, capital of Kogi state educating the citizens on the ills of vote buying in the November 16 governorship election.
Youths in their hundreds danced round the town with drums and trumpets, protected by different security agencies like the Police, Federal Road Safety Corp, Civil Defence and others distributing leaflets, handbills and posters that speak to the evil of vote buying in electioneering.
The twin-problem of vote buying and voter intimidation is often rampant in general election in Kogi state but violence and brigandage associated with political parties’ campaigns before elections have been on the low side in the countdown to this 2019 governorship election.
Some inscriptions on the posters and handbills urge the citizens not to sell their votes as this is tantamount to “selling their future” and that it is “when the votes count that democracy would be consolidated.
How effective this campaign is, would be tested on the day of the election.
But, the level of poverty in the state usually makes vote selling a thriving business. Most times, the voter sees the election as the best opportunity to extract money from the politician, inadvertently, this has an indirect effect on lack of development of the state by the politician who wants to recoup his investment in the electioneering process as soon as he gets to power.
Though all is still calm ten days to the election, this is perceived as “calm before the storm” by some analysts who believe there has been an influx of thugs and hoodlums into Kogi state in readiness for the election.
In anticipation of likely intimidation of voters and violence on or before election day, the Nigeria Police Force last week said it has deployed 25,000 policemen for the Nov. 16, Kogi governorship election. The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, represented by DIG Operations, Abdulmajid Ali, said this at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Kogi stakeholders meeting.
According to Idris, the police are ready for the election and will ensure free, fair and credible poll in the state. “The name Kogi is synonymous with violence but we are ready, we will provide level playing ground to all candidates and remain impartial.
“Officers have been trained, so we want you to support us to provide the level playing ground to all because of recent we observed clashes between some parties.We have taken notice of some of the flashpoints and we will be serious in these areas, more so, intelligent gathering revealed that some aspirants are also organising their armies.
“They sow uniforms of either army or police for them but we have taken notice of this we are going to take decisive action. This will not even happen, so if you are thinking of doing that please have a rethink,” he said.