THE legislative bye-election to fill the vacant Lokoja/Kogi seat in the house of representatives on Saturday, was marred by violence, destruction and deaths.
Journalists who monitored the exercise reported that there was an impressive turnout of voters but the atmosphere became heated as the day wore on leading to violent clashes,destruction of voting materials, and in two locations, two persons were killed.
There were also reports of vote buying by the political parties taking part in the election.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that “although policemen and other security agents were seen at the polling stations, they looked the other way, while thugs terrorised people”.
“At Adankolo, some thugs threw stones on people queueing to cast their votes at one of the polling units, chasing them away,” the report added, while “at St. Peter’s Primary School, Felele, voters were seen receiving N2,000 each after being certified to have voted for particular candidates”.
On Twitter, pictures went viral showing how voters were given an APC branded paper bag, containing some food items (three onions and packets of salt and seasoning) in order to induce them to vote for the party.
The ICIR cannot independently verify the authenticity of the pictures.
APC share package onions and salt immediately after the election… At Mami market polling unit, Ward A, Lokoja Lga, kogi state pic.twitter.com/cWQxuRIlAM
— Dr Chima Matthew Amadi (@AMADICHIMA) August 11, 2018
At Ugwa Pawa polling unit, one person was killed while trying to snatch the ballot box. The Cable quoted William Aya, spokesman of the Kogi police command, as confirming the development. He said that the suspect, Yadau Umoru, was killed at Ugwan Pawa in front of Maigari palace and that his body had been deposited in the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja.
Aya also confirmed to the online newspaper that another unidentified man was killed earlier in the day by a mob at a polling unit located close to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company’s office in Lokoja, while also allegedly attempting to snatch a ballot box.
The Lokoja/Kogi-Koto seat at the House of Representative became vacant following the demise of the Bubar Umar-Jubril, the lawmaker who represented the federal constituency, in March 2018. Umar-Jubril was, before his death, the Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Reps.
APC WINS KATSINA BYE-ELECTION
In Katsina State, where a bye-election was also held by the Independent National Electoral Commission to fill in the vacant seat of the Katsina North Senatorial District, APC’s Ahmad Babba-Kaita, emerged victorious.
Babba-Kaita, who is currently a member of the House of Representatives, polled a total of 224,607 votes to defeat his closest challenger and elder brother, Kabir Babba-Kaita of the PDP, who had 59,7244 votes.
Mustapha Bukar, the former senator representing Katsia North, died in April this year.
APC TO WIN IN BAUCHI
In Bauchi South Senatorial District, the APC candidate, Lawal Yahaya Gumau, is expected to be declared the winner of the by-election held to fill the vacant seat created as a result of the death of the late Ali Wakili, also of the APC, in March.
Early results show that Gumau, also a sitting member of the House of Representatives, was leading his closest challenger, Isa Yuguda, of the PDP, with a wide margin.