HomeNews2m voters registered to vote in Kogi governorship election – INEC

2m voters registered to vote in Kogi governorship election – INEC



The Independent National Electoral Commission said two million registered voters are expected to vote in the Saturday off-cycle governorship election in Kogi.

The election will hold in 3,508 poling units, spread across the 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.

The LGAs included Adavi, Ajaokuta, Ankpa, Bassa, Dekina, Ibaji, Idah, Igalamela/Odolu, Ijumu, Kabba-Bunu, Kogi, Lokoja, Mopamuro, Ofu, Ogori-Magongo, Okene, Okehi, Olamaboro, Omala, Yagba-East, and Yagba-West.

Speaking on preparations for the election, Dr Gabriel Longpet, the state Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), said that the commission was 100 per cent ready.

Longpet said that the commission had recruited over 15,000 ad hoc staff to help it in the smooth conduct of the poll.

“We have 3,508 polling units and each of these units will be manned by four ad hoc staff aside from the security personnel that will be around to ensure peaceful conduct of the election.

“We shall deploy more staff and BVAS in densely populated polling units to complement those we are going to use.

“To be precise, we are going to use more than 900 back-up BVAS.

“This is because some polling units have more than 1,000 to 2,000 registered voters, and we have to split the number by creating more voting points for easy voting.

“This becomes imperative as we don’t want to give room for anything that will delay the process.

“As soon as there is a report of any BVAS failure or challenge, we shall provide another one and configure it to that polling unit for smooth continuation of voting,” he said.

Longpet said that the BVAS had been deployed to the 21 local government areas of the state in readiness for the election.

Also speaking, the state Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr Bethrand Onuoha, said over 40,000 policemen would be deployed across the state to ensure peaceful conduct of the election.

Onuoha said that the planned deployment of a large number of personnel was due to the past experiences in the state, where violence was recorded during elections.

“As it is, we have marked out some security flash points for more vigilance even though recent happenings signaled to us that the whole Kogi is a flashpoint.

“From the number of security personnel we are deploying for this election, it’s enough testimony to tell you that the state needs more security checks.

“With the presence of adequate security personnel in Kogi, we are calling on everybody to come out and exercise his or her civic right in the Saturdy governorship election.

“We are going to swam the state with enough security personnel and by the special grace of God, with our actions and sanctions, we are going to confound our detractors,” he said.

Onuoha added: “God is telling me that this election is going to be better than all the elections ever held here in Kogi.

“We have directed our personnel to be fair to everybody because we come here to serve the people and not any particular individual.”

The CP urged politicians to play according to the rules of the game, saying that election would come and go, while the people would remain.

“We expect that they should adopt politics without bitterness. Your brother is your brother, no matter where he belongs politically, ” he said.

Onuoha warned trouble makers especially political thugs, not to try any thing funny as regard the election as security operatives are battle ready to deal with them.

“In election, you don’t use matches and guns to force people to give you votes. Such people will meet the wrath of the law.

“What we want in Kogi is a peaceful and successful election. Therefore, politicians must play according to the rules of the game or be dealt with.

“The traditional rulers should help us talk to their subjects to maintain peace throughout the election period because it will come and go and we will all remain as residents,” said the police chief.

Eighteen political parties featuring in the election on Wednesday signed a peace accord, ahead of the poll.

Some of the parties were the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the Labour Party (LP) and the Action Alliance (AA).

Others are the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), the Action Democratic Congress (ADC), the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), the National Rescue Movement and the Action Democratic Party (ADP).

Speaking at the ceremony, retired Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar, the Chairman of the National Peace Committee, appealed to the candidates to play politics by the rules.

Abubakar, represented by the Cardinal John Onaiyekan, urged the parties to abide by the accord during the election.

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