By Boluwaji Obahopo.
In spite of the scorching sun, Kogites went out on November 16 to elect a new governor, who will pilot the affairs of the Confluence State for the next four years. They defied apprehensions that the gubernatorial polls might be trailed by violence to exercise their civil responsibility.
The turnout of voters in the morning hours was impressive and by midday the queues had become longer. They completed their accreditation without any wrong incidents. The electorates also cast their ballots peacefully. But by end of voting periods, violence erupted in Lokoja the state capital and largely in the Eastern senatorial axis.
The total registered voters in Kogi according to INEC data was 1,646,350; accredited voters for the November 16 governorship election stood at 636,202. The total valid votes was 610,744; total votes cast was 624,514.
From the above, only 39 percent of the registered voters voted in the election, the highest in the voting history of the state; but a clear indication that most registered voters did not partake in the election.
In 2011 election, 25 percent of registered voters were accredited for voting, while in 2015 the figure rose to 29 percent. However, the 2019 general election, the figure relapsed to 27 percent.
Also, the number of PVC collected before the November 16 governorship election, hit 92 percent, the highest so far in the state history. A development that the State Resident Electoral Commission, REC, Prof. James Spam even commended.
Interestingly, Kogi East Senatorial district where the governorship candidate of the PDP, Mr Musa Wada and the APC deputy governorship candidate, Edward Onoja hailed from, has the highest number of registered voters with 804,715 spread across nine local government areas. While the governor’s Kogi central district has a total registered voter population of 409,120 spread across five local government areas. The balance of 432,515 are located in the West district.
A close analysis of the distribution of polling units indicates that the governor’s Okene local government, with 131,166 registered voters, has the highest number of polling units with 266 units. In contrast, Dekina local government where the PDP governorship candidate hailed from, has the highest number of registered voters of 166,165. But the total number of polling units in that local government was 217.
Also, Ankpa, in the eastern part of the state with 142,912 registered voters, the second highest in the state with 176 polling units, same with Okehi.
Alhaji Abdul Danladi – Politician, I VOTED BUT…
Yes, I voted. As a Nigerian, it is my civic responsibility to vote and that was why I went out to vote. Unfortunately, the outcome of the election did not justified my purpose.
Alao Mosi – Federal Worker; IT WAS A “TATATATA” ELECTION
Yes, I did voted. Because I thought this election will ushered in a new era in the anal of kogi state government, and bring a new face of governance. However, my expectation was dashed because it was characterized by “tatatata” (gun shots)
George Agbogun – Worker; WE SAW WAR
I voted because we wanted a change. But its unfortunate my vote did not count, because what we experienced was war and not election.
We saw thugs shooting, we saw ballot box snatching and also helicopter from police throwing teargas from the sky. We heard the police saying it was to dispersed people who were fighting, but it was a lie, voters were not fighting. My expectation was not met at all.
Remi Odofin – Civil Servant; I WILL NEVER VOTE AGAIN
I wanted to vote but I couldn’t vote because before it reach my turn, the ballot box have been carted away, even in my presence. I will never vote again in my life unless the voting system is changed from its present form to electronic voting. I don’t want to witness what happened on Saturday again or become a casualty for election.
Achadu Dickson – Writer; MY VOTE MAY NOT HAVE COUNT
Yes, I voted because it was part of my civic responsibility, and I wanted to participate in process of who governs me. My expectation has not been met because, I voted thinking my vote will count but it didn’t. Incidences after the election has since suggested that my vote may not have counted.
Hassan Abraham – BUSINESSMAN; I DIDN’T BOTHER TO VOTE
I did not vote because I know from beginning that the election was working towards an angle, I mean a particular party have been planned to win the contest. I took time to look after my business.
Owoyomi Omolayo – BUSINESSWOMAN; WE WERE INTIMIDATED FROM VOTING
I would have love to vote but days before the election, it was obvious it will end up as way. For a week every evening before the election day, it was sporadic shooting lasting sometimes 5 minutes. So, the fear and intimidation was there. Judging by what I hear happened on the field, I believe my purpose of staying put at home was justified.
Olorunfemi Victoria – STUDENT; I VOTED AND IT WAS PEACEFUL
I voted and luckily, my area was peaceful. Though I cannot say what happened between my polling unit and collation centre, because I left immediately after casting my vote, but I believe it was OK. Though I heard other areas were not as lucky as our place.
ROTIMI EBENEZER – WORKER; KOGI ELECTION WAS UNFORTUNATE
It is unfortunate that the police and other security operatives that were supposed to help us maintain integrity in the election are culpable of truncating the process. I feel must like some other persons that my vote did not count. And this has discouraged me towards future election.