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Vote buying, violence marred kogi bye-election

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Group sues for credible polls

Kogi state Lokoja-Kogi House of Representatives bye- election has been trailed by violence, voting buying and thuggry activities.

The election which started peacefully at the early hours of the day in some polling units in Lokoja ran into hitches towards noon as thugs invaded most of the polling stations and disrupted the on-going election.

The voters were ambushed by a particular members of the party and given between #2000 to #5000 to vote a particular candidate in the said rerun election.

It was being carried out freely in the presence of security operatives, virtually in all the polling units in the capital city.

It was gathered that the electorate turned out enmasse in the two local government areas of the state which makes the federal constituency, with the electorate conducted themselves in a peaceful manner.

As the process of the voting gathers momentum, heavily armed thugs invaded ward B at Paparanda polling unit in Lokoja 1, and distrupted electoral process, carting away the election materials.

As this was happening, some other suspected thugs invaded the polling units simultaneously and forced the electoral officers, party agents of a particular party out of the polling units. Some were even taken away by people wearing police uniform.

It was also gathered that shortly after voting, thugs started going round polling units, snatching ballot boxes with reckless abandon.

However, luck ran out of the one that carried out operation at NEPA polling unit, as youths resisted and descended on him , and unfortunately, a gone in his pocket triggered off and hit him by his stomach, killing him immediately .

Hard hit of the issue of ballot boxes snatching areas, includes, Crowther polling units, St Luke Primary School Andakolo , Felele primary school polling stations and many others in the city and its suburb.

Speaking earlier, the Peoples Democratic Party PDP House of Representatives candidate, Mallam Bashir Abubarka Gegu berated the ruling All Progressive Congress for unleashing rain of terror on the electorate.

Gegu explained that the process is peaceful in his area , alleged that some suspected thugs who came to the town were chased away .

Also condemning the act of intimidation allegedly introduced by the ruling party ,the former House of Representatives member and ex- SSG, Alhaji Musa Ahmadu lamented impunity posture of the country’s leadership under APC.

Ahamadu stated that PDP candidate will win the bye- election, stressing that no amount of intimidation will deter electorate in the two local government areas.

Also, the Admnistrstor of Kogi Local Government area of the state, Mallam Tanko Musa Mohammed said the process of election in his area was peaceful, assuring that APC candidate will come out victorious .

In the same vein, the Social Democratic Party candidate, Umar Immam, immediate past speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly lamented that reports from Polling units are that of snatching ballot boxes and vote buying.

He decried the treatment meted out to his brother and other agents, stressing that thugs have been harassing innocent people during the exercise .

However, National Electoral Commissioner,North Central Zone , Mallam Haruna Mohammed said where there is violence or proven irregularities , the INEC will apply the electoral rules strictly .

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