Intimidation ballot snatching reportedly mar Kogi bye-election

Intimidation ballot snatching reportedly mar Kogi bye-election

- Political thugs reportedly perpetrate fraud in Kogi bye-election

- Voters in some polling units are allegedly harassed by the thugs

- Mass turnout as Kastina senatorial by-election commences peacefully amidst tight security

The bye-election to fill the vacant seat in the Lokoja-Kogi federal constituency which started on a peaceful note on Saturday, August 11, was later marred by violence, vote buying and intimidation in Lokoja.

A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent monitoring reported that the election was marred by political thugs going from one polling unit to another to perpetrate fraud.

Although policemen and other security agents were seen at the police stations, they looked the other way, while thugs terrorised people.

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At the polling unit at Paparanda Square, voting could not hold as thugs invaded the venue, snatching election materials and beating up people queuing to vote.

The same scenario played out at polling units at Mary Primary School, Karaworo, Adnakolo and Crowther Secondary School, where thugs also disrupted voting.

At Adankolo, some thugs threw stones on people queueing to cast their votes at one of the polling units, chasing them away.

Some of voters who came in 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.

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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,’’ he said.

Haruna stated that 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.

Meanwhile, the Katsina north senatorial by-election has begun peacefully and smoothly in the 12 affected local government areas of Katsina state on Saturday, August 11, amidst tight security. gathered that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) commenced the conduct of the election on time and turn out of voters was impressive.

According to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the verification of names and accreditation of voters began at exactly 8:00 am at various polling centres in the Kastina north senatorial district.

NAN observed that voters trooped to their respective polling stations to cast their votes under an atmosphere conducive and devoid of rancour or intimidation.

Malam Ali Mani, the ward chairman of Sarkin Yara A in Daura, commended the high voters’ turnout in some of the metropolitan polling centres.

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