Journalism of Courage

Kogi/Bayelsa Gov. Polls: Voters out amid tense atmosphere


Today, November 16 is the voters’ decision day  in two states — Bayelsa and Kogi — as they are expected to mass at the polling stations to cast their votes in the governorship poll.


The political atmosphere in the last two months in the two states has become distraught and tense with orchestrated violence.


Again, the parties have engaged mutual suspicion and diatribe as well as allegations and counter-allegations.


In Kogi,  21 contenders are locked in battle but prominiently, it is narrowed to between the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).


Governor Yahaya Bello of APC and the PDP candidate; Engr. Musa Wada are candidates to beat in the election.


A woman, Barrister Natasha Akpoti, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, who dragged Bello to court over double registration, had suffered several violent attacks by thugs.


In Bayelsa, a predominantly a PDP state since 1999, has two main contenders — Mr Diri Douye’s (PDP) and APC’s David Lyon.


During the week, the state had its dose of violence as two people were reportedly shot dead and many injured at a campaign rally in the state.


There has been disqualification of candidates and quashing of such by the courts two days before today’s poll.


Both President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Goodluck Jonathan had cautioned against violence ahead of the elections in the two states.


However, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said it is set for the polls having distributed sensitive and non-sensitive materials to the respective states.


The Police IG has also deployed thousands of his officers and men in the two states.

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