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Violence, Vote Buying Mar Kogi Bye-Election




(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The bye-election to fill the vacant seat in the Lokoja-Kogi Federal Constituency which started peacefully Saturday was later marred by violence, vote buying and intimidation in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.

Reports confirmed that the political thugs have a field day as they were freely moving from one polling unit to another to disturb peace and order.

The policemen and other security agents placed at the polling units did not help matter, as they looked the other way, while thugs terrorised voters.

For instance, voting could not hold at the polling unit at Paparanda Square, hoodlums invaded the venue, snatching election materials and beating up voters on queue.

The story was the same at polling units located at Mary Primary School, Karaworo, Adnakolo and Crowther Secondary School.

At Adankolo, suspected thugs threw stones at voters on queue waiting to vote and chased them away. Some of voters who came with their vehicles had their windscreens smashed.

At St. Peter’s Primary School, Felele, voters were seen receiving N2, 000 each after being certified to have voted for particular candidates.



Some officials of the Kogi Government could be seen moving from one polling unit to another in convoys, accompanied by heavily armed policemen and other security operatives.

The Federal Commissioner of INEC in charge of Kogi, Niger and Nasarawa States, Alhaji Mohammed Haruna, has however, said that the election would be cancelled where discrepancies and violence were recorded.

“INEC will review every case of violence, ballot snatching, voter intimidation and vote buying and take appropriate action,’’ Haruna affirmed.

He said the rules guiding conduct of elections in Nigeria were clear, noting that election would be voided at any polling unit where rules had been violated.

 


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Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=45396

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