Early results collated by our correspondents at poling units in some parts of Kogi State in yesterday’s governorship election showed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu, was in early lead. The Peoples Democratic Party candidate and incumbent Governor Idris Wada closely trailed behind the former governor.
The voting pattern showed that while Governor Idris gained massive votes in the Central Senatorial District, the APC candidate, based on early results, was leading in the Eastern and Western Senatorial Districts. In Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, the ballots counted in some polling units showed that the APC was leading. At the Bishop Crowther Memorial polling unit 012 Lokoja, for instance, the counting showed that the APC scored 169 votes while the PDP recorded 129 votes. At the New Layout polling unit also located in Lokoja, the APC recorded 148 votes while the PDP got 110 votes. At another polling unit called Cinema Hall located at Angwan Tiv, the APC recorded 185 votes while the PDP got 167.
The results monitored at some polling units in the western part of Kogi State also showed the APC in the lead. At the Kabba/Bunu St. Barnabas unit at Odolu ward the APC recorded 206 votes while the PDP got 95 votes. At Ijumu Ayere unit 03: APC recorded 101 votes while the PDP got 58 votes. Elsewhere at Ayegunle Gede/Iluhafon ward the APC scored 167 votes while the PDP got 41 votes while at Oja Otun Iyara ward the APC got 146 votes, while the PDP recorded 36 votes. Similarly at the Demonstration Kabba Okekoko ward the APC got 171 and the PDP got 70 while at Akefe unit the PDP got 138 votes leaving the APC with 117 votes.
Other results are as follows: Ogori- Magongo, ENI Ward unit 002; PDP 33; APC 29, Awi compound unit: PDP 34 APC 24; Ochadamu Polling Unit, Olofu – Ochadamu: APC 149 – PDP 164. Ogbakpedo Polling Unit, Ochadamu Ward: APC 80 – PDP 78.
Ankpa Ojuku ward Bangele Unit 1: PDP 346, APC 49; Akefe Unit: PDP 138 APC 117; Kabba: Unit 2.: PDP 71, APC-43; Unit 3:PDP- 114-APC 27; Unit 4: PDP- 148 APC 21; Okene LGA: Agassa ward in Okene, Unit 5,PDP- 57, APC- 24; Unit 6,PDP- 18, APC- 51; Unit 7-PDP34, APC-25; Unit 8:PDP- 134, APC 27; Inoko Isaac unit Ajekeyi: PDP- 95 APC- 24; Olowa Etiaja unit: PDP 141, APC-0
Wada, Audu differ on polls conduct
Prince Abubakar Audu expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the polls, describing it as most organized and peaceful. He, however, acknowledged what he described as minor hitches.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after casting his vote at polling Unit 002 LGEA Primary School, Ogbonicha, Prince Audu said the people of the state would have the strength to realize their long dream of actualizing the change mantra in the state.
Prince Audu, who cast his vote at about 1.40 pm, said though reports indicated that there were issues about snatching of electoral materials at Ankpa, Anyigba and other few places, the exercise was generally peaceful.
On the contrary Governor Idris Wada, whose fingerprints were rejected by the card reader during accreditation at his ward in Dekina local government area, expressed dissatisfaction with the conduct of the polls.
Governor Wada was particularly disappointment over the failure of the card readers as well as non-availability of incident forms for other voters whose fingerprints were also rejected by the card reader at the polling unit.
“It seems it was a deliberate attempt to sabotage the process; there are few incident forms here and there are no photocopiers to produce more. As you can see there are so many people here that are going to be disenfranchised which is not fair,” Wada lamented.
According to him he had received reports of thuggery and ballot box snatching in Ayingba despite the massive deployment of security personnel for the election.
He said: “I am going to call the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) after leaving here and hope they will do something about the situation.
Wada, however, commended the level of enthusiasm exhibited by the electorate and their turnout, pointing out that the card reader was denying the people the rights to exercise their franchise.
Voter turnout was generally impressive while the conduct of the exercise was also orderly. However, our correspondents reports that there were cases of card reader failure recorded in some polling units across the state. By press time counting of votes was still continuing is some areas, particularly in the Eastern senatorial zone where there was delay in accreditation occasioned by card reader failure.
Kogi state deputy governor, Yomi Awoniyi, commended INEC for the logistic arrangement put in place for the successful conduct of the governorship election in the state. Awoniyi, after casting his vote at Unit 2 in Iletueju ward of Mopamoro local government, also commended the security agencies, who he said have made the election very peaceful.
Governor Wada’s wife, Halima, whose PVC was recognized by the card reader could, however, not find her name on the INEC voters’ list. As a result she too had to fill the incident form in order to get accredited.
Elsewhere at Ejule Ala ward in Ofu local government area in the Eastern senatorial district of the state, eligible voters also complained of card readers rejecting their fingerprints.
Honourable A.K. Achimugu, frowned at the rate at which card readers were rejecting electorate in the area, noting that the electoral officers there could not decide the fate of those whose fingerprints were rejected.
The All Progressives Congress Chairman, Hadi Amentur, said the APC would be victorious at the end of the election. He said for now the accreditation is peaceful while the turnout is good, saying with the wind of change victory is assured for the party.
“There is no cause for alarm, things are moving well and at the end of the exercise, APC would emerged victorious. For the accreditation, card readers are working well,” he said
Meanwhile, materials arrived on time in the polling units visited in Okene, Adavi and Okehi local governments while the acreditation started by 8am as schedule and the turn out is good
But in some polling units in Okene town, there was low turnout of voters while there was massive security presence in the area to forestall breakdown of law.
The voting pattern in the Central District, Daily Trust on Sunday gathered was in favour of the PDP and APC despite the candidature of former Deputy Governor Phillip Salau of the Labour Party.
Dr Salau said, however, that the exercise was orderly except few polling units where he had information that card readers were not functioning, and where there was late arrival of materials.
“Before we had a reliable information that a political party would jam the card readers to justify the use of manual accreditation so that they can be thumb printing the ballot papers. We petitioned INEC on this and it seems our prediction is right,” he said
He called on INEC to take action on the card readers and ensure availability of materials for the election so that the people’s mandate should not be given to another candidate.