KOGI GOVERNOR EMERGES TODAY AS WADA, AUDU HOPEFUL
The major sore points at press time were an arson attack on a chieftain of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, Mr. Idoko Achem, and the arrest by the police of seven men caught with arms.
The seven were apprehended in the middle of the exercise at about 1.00 p.m. in Dekina local government area in the Kogi East senatorial district where the two major contenders hail from.
Voting did not commence simultaneously in the LGAs as the exercise was delayed in some remote areas due to logistical constraints in getting voting materials and officials to the hinterlands.
In some of those areas where voting materials arrived late, voting was stretched beyond the closing hours.
Yesterday's vote featured 19 gubernatorial candidates but only the camps of Wada and Audu were in boisterous mood last night with both men claiming to have performed well.
The Action Congress of Nigeria Candidate Prince Abubakar Audu, thump prints at the Polling centre in Odane Local Government Ogonicha in Kogi State during the Governorship Election Photo by Diran Oshe
In the central senatorial districts, the election went without hitches as people went about their normal businesses after casting their votes.
The West Senatorial District also recorded a peaceful accreditation and the voting exercise was also peaceful as there was no recorded violence or any evidence of ballot snatching at the time of filing this report.
Voters' turnout in Adavi local government area in the central senatorial district was, however, remarkably low compared to the turnout in other places.
Most polling centers visited in Lokoja metropolis had police men and men of the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps stationed there and the voters were orderly. A spokesman of the ACN, however, complained that security was reinforced only in Lokoja as he claimed that areas outside of the state capital did not have enough security personnel.
At Adavi local government aArea, it was the same peaceful conduct although the voters turnout in this part of the state was relatively low compared to other areas.
Wada, Audu hopeful
As voting ended, last night, enthusiasm in the camps of the two major candidates was raised. Wada, speaking through his media advisor, Jabob Edi, said:
'The reports we are getting from our agents is that Wada is having the upper hand from across the state though there are pockets where the ACN made some impact,' Edi said.
Speaking to journalists shortly after voting at his hometown Odu in Dekina LGA, Wada nevertheless affirmed that he would take whatever is the outcome of the exercise in good faith.
He said that for him politics is not a do- or-die affair and he would not have any cause to regret if he lost.
Expressing his hope too at the end of the exercise, Audu, the ACN candidate, was equally hopeful.
'We are very confident by the results we are getting from across the state. In Adavi, Kabba Bunu Dekina and Ayangba we are hearing of very good results. The only problem we have had today was that the Police withdrew their men from all the polling booths outside Lokoja and we hope that is not to allow for rigging,' Mr. Sanni Ologun, spokesman to Audu, said last night.
The arson attack on the ANPP chieftain, Achem, occurred at about 11.30a.m while accreditation was ongoing at Ofabo in Ofu LGA. The incident, however, did not claim any life. When contacted, the state police commissioner, Mr Amannah Apakasanga, confirmed the incident and told Sunday Vanguard that his men were immediately drafted to the spot once the report came to him.
Security was tight while the voting exercise lasted and movement was strictly restricted. Inter-state travelers were especially caught up as those coming from the southern axis were stopped at Okene to the south and also at Ibillo to the Southwest.