INEC: Those Willing to Vote in Bayelsa And Kogi Governorship Polls Had Opportunity to Do So

  1. INEC says voters had the opportunity to vote.
  2. There were reported violence across some parts fo the states.

Despite reports of violence in some parts of Kogi and Bayelsa stated during yesterday’s governorship elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says most voters who were willing to vote had the opportunity to do so.

The electoral umpire in a communique by its National Commissioner, Festus Okoye, the commission said it carefully monitored the electoral process in both states, and reports from accredited observers and electoral officials in the field indicate that those who were willing to vote did vote accordingly.

This is coming on the heels of the outcry over violence, thuggery, and vote-buying during the electoral exercise in both states.

READ: Bayelsa Governorship Election Was ‘Very Peaceful’, No Shooting – NSCDC

Attempts were made by suspected thugs to snatch ballot papers in the Odu Ward 4, Odu-Ogboyaga ward 1 of Dekina local government area, where the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Musa Wada cast his vote. They were resisted and confronted by youths and security officials who threw stones and objects to secure the electoral materials.

Another set of thugs, however, were successful when they disrupted the electoral process in ward 2, Lokoja, gunshots were fired into the air, and they made away with ballot boxes.

The same happened in the Ajayi Crowther Memorial School as voters were forced to scamper for safety following the invasion of thugs.

Due to the late arrival of security officials, the commencement of voting in the polling unit, which is the biggest in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital was delayed. This was, however, argued by INEC, saying the Commission delivered materials to its offices in both Bayelsa and Kogi.

READ:  Bayelsa: Corps Member Missing After Thugs Attack Polling Unit

INEC, however, admitted that despite all efforts to promote peaceful elections, including several engagements with stakeholders and the signing of the peace accords, there were cases of thuggery and violence, which the Commission condemns unequivocally.

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