The governorship elections held on Saturday November 11th in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states were marred by violence, vote buying, voter intimidation and other irregularities.
However, early results showed incumbent governors Douye Diri of Bayelsa (PDP) and Hope Uzodinma of Imo (APC) in lead positions.
In Kogi, the race remained tight between APC’s Usman Ododo, PDP’s Dino Melaye and SDP’s Muri Ajaka based on initial results. A man identified as Chidi aka ‘General’ was shot dead in Imo accused of ballot snatching.
Computations by our reporters across 131 polling units in Bayelsa showed Diri leading with 13,396 votes against the APC’s Timipre Sylva at 4,802 votes. In Imo, Uzodinma garnered 22,113 votes across 90 units while PDP’s Samuel Anyanwu got 1,452.
In Kogi, figures from 149 units showed Ododo ahead with 21,047 votes, Ajaka at 7,324 votes and Melaye trailing with 2,529 votes. Ajaka performed well in Kogi East where he hails from. As per INEC’s result portal, over 85% of results had been uploaded from the three states by midnight.
The polls were marred by voter inducement, violence and intimidation. In Bayelsa, a clash between PDP and APC supporters in Famgbe left one dead and several injured. Ballot boxes were snatched in parts of Southern Ijaw, Sagbama and Ogbia LGAs. The LP and PDP candidates traded allegations of vote buying.
Imo saw vote buying for as low as N2,000 in places like Owerri Municipal. APC and LP alleged thuggery and voter suppression by each other. Turnout was extremely low in parts of Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa. LGA result collation officers were kidnapped in Kogi but later released.
In a major incident, INEC suspended elections in 9 out of 10 wards in Ogori-Magongo LGA of Kogi due to pre-filled result sheets. The commission promised sanctions on culpable officials. The polls saw Diri, Uzodinma and other candidates winning their polling units comfortably while opposition parties like SDP won in their strongholds.
The elections were an important test for parties like LP and SDP seeking to challenge PDP and APC dominance in the states. While no clear winner has emerged, the indices point to comfortable victories for the incumbents Diri and Uzodinma barring any major upsets as more results trickle in. The opposition however remain upbeat and allege manipulation by the ruling parties…..CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>