Residents of Bayelsa and Kogi states will today vote to determine who will govern the state for the next four years.
In Bayelsa, 45 candidates are in the governorship race, according to data from the Independent National Electoral Commission. Mr David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Senator Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party are believed to be the top contenders in the race.
The race is expected to produce a successor to Governor Seriake Dickson who is in the final months of his second term.
In Kogi, a tight race is expected, involving 24 candidates. It is a heated race with Governor Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress seeking re-election, while the man he and his party ousted from power, Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party, is a leading candidate to stop him and claim the second term he missed out on four years ago.
Sensitive materials displayed inside the INEC office in Lokoja. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun: Channels TV
The build-up to the election has been dramatic and sometimes violent. Just on Thursday, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Natasha Akpoti, was attacked outside the venue of a meeting between stakeholders and the Inspector General of the Police and the INEC Chairman.
An added dimension to today’s election in Kogi is the Senatorial election rerun in Kogi West which pits old foes Dino Melaye of the PDP and Smart Adeyemi of the APC against each other once again. Melaye had ousted Adeyemi from the Senate as a member of the APC in 2015. At the time, Adeyemi was a member of the PDP.
Both men later switched camps with Melaye being declared winner of the February 23, 2019 election in the district, a declaration the court later nullified and called for fresh elections.
Ahead of the elections, President Muhammadu Buhari called for fairness and transparency and the IGP promised to ensure peace so the people can vote. Opposition party leaders, however, expressed fears about whether the votes would be peaceful and fair.
Channels TV reporters are on the ground to keep you updated about happenings in both states. Stay with us and keep refreshing this page for fresh updates.
8:24 AM: Suspected thugs said to have disrupted exercise in Omala LGA in Kogi State.
8:15 AM: Channels TV correspondent, Kayla Megwa, gives updates from Lokoja, Kogi State capital. She says there was a delay as a result of the late arrival of security personnel.
Channels TV correspondent, Kayla Megwa.
She adds that INEC ad-hoc staff arrived at their duty posts very early and were ready to deploy materials across the state but no security operative was attached to them.
Ajayi Crowther Primary School in Lokoja, according to here, is one of the biggest polling units in Lokoja and security operatives arrived at about a few minutes to 8am and voting has yet to commence.
7:42 AM: Electoral officials and materials set to be deployed to various polling units following the arrival of security personnel in Ajayi Crowther Primary School in Lokoja A (Kogi State).
7:33 AM: Yenagoa: In the Bayelsa State capital, INEC officials are setting up polling units for voting.
Here are some photos below:
7:29 AM: The Ajayi Crowther Primary School in Lokoja A (Kogi State) has 27 polling units 100 voting points 49,374 registered voters.
There are only two security officers deployed there from Friday and the electoral officials are unable to deploy to the polling units due to the absence of security personnel to accompany them and the materials.