All Eyes On Kogi Governorship Election Today
All attention is on Kogi State as eligible voters chose their governor in today’s governorship poll.
Though there is no gainsaying that both Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security operatives must brace up to the challenges that comes with the exercise. This is because they have given their commitment and determination to ensure the wishes of President Muhammadu Buhari who had been a victim of electoral fraud severally is done by ensuring that the exercise is free, fair and transparent.
The newly appointed Chairman of INEC Professor Mahmud Yakubu gave the indication while speaking at the Kogi state governorship election stakeholders forum held at Reverton Hotel in Lokoja recently.
The chairman indicated that the Commission in its bid to conduct free, fair, credible and acceptable election spelt out serious consequences for any of its staff or any other person found to be compromising the process for any reason.
He said only the people of Kogi State can elect their governor and nobody else.
Yakubu disclosed that the Commission had come up with additional strategies that can make it possible for him to monitor every polling units in the State from the INEC headquarters in Lokoja.
He allayed all fears of malpractices even as he assured the citizens and other stakeholders that the Kogi election would be a model for all future elections in the country.
The Chairman explained that a total of 1,351,313 are eligible voters that will participate in next Saturday election, pointing out that the commission had recruited over 13,000 ad-hoc staff to work in the 3018 polling units for the election, while the commission had detected over 2,300 double registration as the figure would removed from the Voters registered
The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase on his part asked his men to read the body language of the President and carry on their duty with dignity.
He reminded them of what the President said concerning the election which is going to be a test for his government’s nonsense stance against malpractices.
However, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Haliru Pai said recently that his commission has made some adjustments to ensure a hitch free election, including the redeployment of those who were found wanting in previous exercises. The security agents, too, must not only be seen to be neutral, but must also display a high level of professionalism.
The new Commissioner of Police (CP), Emmanuel Ojukwu, has not left any one in doubt as to his readiness and that of his men to ensure a hitch free election.
The recent arrest of some political thugs from the eastern flank of the state where the major actors hail from was an indication that the police was well prepared.
Also the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had earlier released the names of 22 governorship candidates contesting the November 21 gubernatorial election in Kogi.
The list include Isah Yakubu Kamaldeen as governorship candidate for (AA), Dickson F. Fred (Accord), Ukwenya Musa (ACD), Michael Abdullahi (AD), Usman Zainab (ADC), Odufu Cosmos Friday (APA), Prince Abubakar Audu (APC), Akwu Umar Goodman (APGA), Yinka Cherry Oloruntoba (CPP), Philips Ezekiel Koleola (DPC), Abubakar Ibrahim (DPP) and Ibraham Adejoh (ID).
Others include Raji Ogorima (KOWA), Philips Omeiza Salawu (LP), Mohammed Ibrahim Dangana (NCP), Mallam Abdul Hussein (NNPP), Emmanuel Daikwo (PDC), Capt. Idris Ichalla Wada (PDP), Emmanuel Enesi Ozigi (PPA), Dr Ojuh Godwin Hussein (PPN), Enema Paul (SDP) and Sa’ad Mukailu Yaro (UDP).
However the PDP candidate Idris Wada and his APC counterpart Abubakar Audu are the real contenders though the PPA and APGA as well as PPN have been making serious impact, but not much to go beyond bargain.